Majuro (AFP) Marshall Islands (AFP) Nov 1, 2010
The low-lying Marshall Islands, a Pacific atoll chain that rises barely a metre above sea level, has announced plans for a wall to hold back rising sea levels.
"We want to prevent erosion and stop flooding," UN ambassador Phillip Muller said at the weekend, launching an appeal for 20 million dollars in international donor funds to get the project under way.
The full cost of the protective sea wall has not been released and Muller said the initial plea for donor funds is for detailed engineering work on the project.
The vulnerability of the Marshalls was highlighted two years ago when floods hit the eastern shore of the main Majuro Atoll causing several million dollars in damage and forcing dozens of islanders to live in temporary shelters.
The Honolulu-based National Weather Service, a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-supported agency, recently warned of possibly more severe flooding in the next two months.
"The sea level should be similar or higher than those seen during 2008, when waves flooded parts of Majuro and other atolls in the country," the report said.
The Marshall Islands, a nation of 29 coral atolls and five single islands stretches across 800,000 square kilometres (500,000 square miles) of Pacific Ocean but has only about 116 square kilometres of dry land, most of which is not more than a metre above the high tide mark.
Muller said the government is asking donors to put up climate change funding to help his country forestall pending floods.
The plan is to build a five-kilometre seawall on the leeward coast of Majuro Atoll for shore protection as well as to landfill small bays to increase landmass as a buffer against rising sea levels and high waves during storms.
Nearly half of the country's 55,000 population live in Majuro where few homes are more than 10 metres from the ocean and many are considerably closer.
The floods in December 2008 resulted from exceptionally high tides which peaked at the same time as powerful waves generated by storms at sea surged ashore to inundate many parts of Majuro's eastern coastline.
From his UN office, Muller has been pushing for access to billions of dollars in promised climate-change aid for vulnerable countries.
But, he said, not much of the pledged money has flowed to the countries that most need it.
"We have only a short window of opportunity for accessing these funds," he said. "The money pledged is only for two-to-three years. We need to move fast."
The 20-million dollars towards the protective seawall was only an "initial" amount to get the protection work going and additional funding would be required.
The Marshall Islands, the scene of the US nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s, was a US-administered trust territory until becoming independent in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association between the two countries.
It is nearly 70 percent underwritten by donor grants, with two countries providing the bulk of funding -- the United States injects about 75 million dollars a year into government coffers, and Taiwan, which has diplomatic ties with the Marshalls, adds another 10 million dollars.
The meagre national budget for the current fiscal year is only 130 million dollars, down five percent on the previous year to reflect declining tax revenue, partly as a result of cutbacks at the US Army's Kwajalein missile range.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
Climate Change May Alter Natural Climate Cycles Of Pacific
Atlanta GA (SPX) Oct 28, 2010
While it's still hotly debated among scientists whether climate change causes a shift from the traditional form of El Nino to one known as El Nino Modoki, online in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists now say that El Nino Modoki affects long-term changes in currents in the North Pacific Ocean. El Nino is a periodic warming in the eastern tropical Pacific that occurs along the coast o ... read more
Indonesia battles disasters on two fronts|
Stark warning three months into Pakistan flood crisis
Billions in Afghanistan aid dollars unaccounted for: audit
Chilean mining safety still on the agenda
Google giving away Google TV devices to developers
Smaller Is Better In The Viscous Zone
Two NASA Spacecraft Begin New Exploration Assignments
Space Fence Design Moves Into Next Phase
Disappearing Lake Chad harming regional stability: PM
Vulnerable atoll nation plans seawall to block rising seas
Iceland rejects 'unrealistic' EU mackerel quota: negotiator
Britain announces marine 'planning' zones
Whales Help Researchers Take Winter Temperature Of Greenland Coastal Waters
NASA Airborne Science Campaign Begins Antarctic Sequel
UBC Underwater Robot To Explore Ice-Covered Ocean And Antarctic Ice Shelf
Susitna Glacier, Alaska
Inuit to appeal EU seals ruling
Bulgarian parliament allows brown bear hunting
Canadian seal hunters lose bid to lift EU import ban
Master chocolatiers give green cocoa a boost
Indonesia denies failures in tsunami aid effort
Typhoon Chaba churns towards eastern Japan
Scores found alive in Indonesia tsunami zone
Death toll from Thai floods hits 100
Tanzanians vote as ruling party predicts landslide win
Nani Croze - East Africa's answer to Gaudi
Arms shipment found in Nigeria loaded in Iran: firm
Madagascar's illicit wood trade to China
American teen crowned Miss World 2010
How Genes Are Selectively Silenced
Fossils double age of humans in Asia
Study: Human ancestors not 'out of Africa'
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|