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The U.K’s Environment Agency has issued a warning that coastal communities living in the country may be forced to relocate due to erosion and rising sea levels.
James Bevan, the chief executive of the agency, said, “Some of our communities, both in this country and around the world, cannot stay where they are.”
“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,” the chief added.
He also said that this would be tough because communities are already used to where they’re at in their community, and it might take time to get used to a new location.
Sea levels are rising, and this has serious implications for the world, especially in small island nations.
As an example, the President of Maldives has expressed concern over the impact the phenomenon could have on their archipelago made up of 1,192 islands.
Mohamed Solih, Maldives President, 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.”
The agency has already expressed that the movement of communities is inevitable, considering how climate change progresses.
Experts at the World Meteorological Organization said that the mean level of the sea “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 has been released by Bevan to guide authorities on the specific methods for an easier transition of the communities.
Bevan explained, “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 made it clear that talks and researches are still ongoing in identifying what specific communities 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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