I Live In A Country That’s Sinking – “The Island President” Tackling Climate Change in Maldives


Capital city of Maldives - Male'
Capital city of Maldives – Male’

I was round my friend Jana’s house last night eating a gorgeous authentic Italian pizza and she showed me a cool travel app on her iPad called Trvl which explores hundreds of countries in-depth using stunning photos and great articles. One such article we found was about Maldives!

We discovered that there’s been a movie made about our new home and we didn’t even realise!


The 2011 documentary film is all about the President of Maldives, Nasheed, and his efforts in tackling climate change which is of course causing rising sea levels… a big threat to the people of Maldives. He’s an interesting guy this one- he studied abroad mostly, in Sri Lanka and England, and graduated in Marine Biology. After some article where he claimed the government had rigged an old election, he was imprisoned and tortured even. Later on when he got into parliament- he asked doctors to have a proper look at the body of a young boy who died in jail while serving time for possessing drugs. Turns out the poor kid had been tortured in jail. This sparked off the Maldives 2003 civil unrest so he went off in self-exile to Sri Lanka where he and a buddy tried to set up the Maldivian Democratic Party. Then he returned to Male’ to promote MDP, before getting arrested again, followed by a charge of terrorism.


His big policy: making Maldives carbon-neutral within a decade by moving to wind and solar power. He even held the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting with everyone in scuba gear- crazy!!!

Sadly in the end he resigned with this statement:

“I believe if I continue as the President of the Maldives, the people of the country would suffer more. I therefore have resigned as the President of Maldives. I wish the Maldives would have a consolidated democracy. I wish for justice to be established. My wish is for the progress and prosperity of the people.”

What a great guy! Such a shame that the people over on the other camp didn’t have the same vision. He later wrote that he was forced to resign “at gunpoint”.


I can’t believe I lived in a country for more than 4 months and didn’t know this important bit of history. Climate change is a very real thing- shockingly Nasheed is quoted with saying that the odds of his country drowning in his grand-children’s lifetime is “fifty-fifty”.


By the time I’m old and grey it’s a very real possibility I’ll be sat in the corner looking at photo’s of my 21 year old self in a country that no longer exists. Absolutely devastating.

  Paradise Island Resort Paradise Island Resort 2 Maldives   Fihalhohi Resort Here’s the trailer to the movie or go here for the movie’s website.  

Interesting Reads:


Jon Shenk: “President Nasheed is a true David to the climate change Goliath”


‘Dictatorship is coming back to the Maldives and democracy is slipping away’

Hi! I'm Sarah. I dropped out of university tired with the mundane life I was living in England. Now I'm an aspiring ex-pat of the world, having already lived and worked in Vietnam, Italy and Maldives. I'm using this blog to document my experiences and hopefully inspire others!

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