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The Environment Agency in the U.K has issued a warning that coastal communities would be forced to relocate because of erosion and rising sea levels.
“Some of our communities, both in this country and around the world, cannot stay where they are,” James Bevan said, the agency’s chief executive.
“That’s because while we can come back safely and build back better after most river flooding, there is no coming back for land that coastal erosion has simply taken away or which a rising sea level has put permanently, or frequently, underwater,” Bevan explained.
He went on to say that this relocation will be hard for the communities because they have already gotten used to where they currently reside.
Sea levels are rising around the world, and this poses a big risk to island nations.
For example, the President of Maldives has expressed his concern for the negative impact that climate change is having on their 1,192 islands.
Maldives President, Mohamed Solih, said, “Our islands are slowly being inundated by the sea, one by one. If we do not reverse this trend, the Maldives will cease to exist by the end of this century.”
In a statement issued on the agency’s website, the agency said that the movement of communities is inevitable as climate change worsens.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the global mean sea level “reached a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4.5 mm per year over the period 2013–2021.”
The Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy Roadmap was revealed by the authorities. Bevan said that the roadmap serves as a guide for the government and related agencies to ensure that the operation will be smooth.
Bevan said, “I think that, with the right interventions over the coming years, we can achieve that for most of the coastal communities in this country as far ahead as any of us can reasonably foresee.”
However, Bevan clarifies that talks and researches are still ongoing in identifying what specific areas will be moved.
“No one should be forced from their homes against their will,” he said. “But — and there is a but — we do need to start the conversation about all this now.”
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