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Govt plans to sell inhabited islands to foreign countries

Govt plans to sell inhabited islands to foreign countries
Adianto P. Simamora ,  The Jakarta Post   |  Mon, 05/04/2009 9:42 PM  | 

Indonesia is mulling some plans to “put up for sale” its inhabited small islands as shelters for environmental refugees thanks to the climate change which was likely to disappear some of Small Island States.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi raised the idea over concern of sea level rise due to climate change which would end up under water low-lying countries.

“Pak Freddy still needs to consult the idea with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before going into detailed plans,” the ministry’s director general for coastal and small islands Syamsul Maarif told reporters on Monday.

“But, it is smart plans if we see severe impacts of sea level rise.”

He said that a number of countries, including Maldives, had started purchasing new homeland in India as shelters for its citizens if the sea level disappear the island.

The United Nations has warned that the climate change could raise the sea level up to 59 centimeters by 2100 unless the world countries take actions to cut huge scale of greenhouse gas emissions.

Most parts of Maldives are currently just about 1.5 meters above the water with the highest land point is 2.4 meter above sea level.

He said that Indonesia currently has 17,480 small islands across the archipelago.

“We find so far only 20 islands which have lost due to environmental problems including sea level rises of climate change,” he said.

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