The overall impact of rising of the sea level is flooding or even submergence of low-lying coastal areas. Therefore, low lying islands like the Maldives Islands that lie about 8 feet above the sea level are likely to be submerged. This is due to projections that the sea level is likely to rise for about 8 feet over the next century. Climate change will not only threaten the economy, culture and environment of Maldives, but also the existence of the country (Knox, 2009). Therefore, there is need for the country to revise its foreign policy in order to effectively push for global action on climate change.
If the government cannot effectively lobby for global action on climate change then the citizens of Maldives are going to lose their country in the next century. According to the projections released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average global rise in sea level will be between 0.09m and 0.37m in the coming decades (Radic, 2008). This is likely to either submerge the nation’s beaches or increase beach erosion and bring about higher storm surges that threaten the country’s biodiversity (Dunya, 2015). Loss of biodiversity would put the country’s environment at jeopardy as it will result in extinction of various animal and plant species. Increased depths may hinder growth of coral polyps which will in turn affect fish breeding and the country’s fishing grounds. The loss of the coral reef biodiversity will have a devastating impact on human settlement in Maldives Islands. The rise in sea means that salt water will intrude into fresh water sources in the country which will impact negatively on agriculture and terrestrial ecosystems (WorldBank, 2010).
Erosion and submergence of beaches in the Maldives Islands means that the country will no longer receive tourists. This will be the worst economic tragedy to the nation since its economy largely depends on foreign exchange earned from the tourism sector.