Checking climate change damage
By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood
Look around you. The ominous future is here but we are so absorbed in our struggles with the present that we fail to recognise it. For instance, sea-level rise is one of the most serious consequences of climate change.
According to estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sea levels will keep rising throughout this century, causing increasingly frequent and severe flooding in coastal areas.
There is no doubt that the lives and livelihoods of communities on many small island-nations like Bahrain will be impacted.
Five MPs and the Southern Municipal Council made public their discussion about precautions to be taken to combat the ill-effects of rising sea levels.
This comes on the heels of recent moves to build higher retaining walls near shore lines to prevent flooding of coastal residential areas.
The coming decade will un - doubtedly see added pressure on Bahrain’s limited land resources as the population expands and urbanisation proceeds at a clipping pace.
Naturally, land reclamation from the surrounding seas will offer one expensive solution but here too we are seeing new regulations which say reclamation must technically feature land mass above sea level.
We are a land with a rich maritime history and a close bond with the sea.
We have to once again recognise the value of this bond so that we rediscover the respect we had for the sea.
It is of course inevitable that we should look to land reclamation to meet our urbanisation goals in coming years.
But certainly we can augment it by not treating the sea as a frivolous playground.
People sink old aircraft and used tyres into the deep and pretend that this is replacement for shattered coral reefs and miles of reclaimed land.
Every quarter good green Samaritans pick tons of plastic, glass and rubbish off our beaches in an effort to clean them.
These are sporadic acts and what we really need is a reconnection that will stop us from littering our beaches and our deep with the junk of our 21st century lives.
As climate change marches into our world, let us do our tiny bit to check the damage.
Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism.