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“Divest or Drown!” read one of the orange papers hanging on the ‘divestment thought strings’, at our event. Friday, 13th February 2015. On Friday February the 13th, 2015, at 21:00 hrs, Ecocare Maldives took the ‘Global Divestment Day’ event public at Masveringe Park – Malè, a common socializing point where most middle aged and elderly hang around playing board games and talk politics. We took the Global Divestment Day to them!
Many young people, youth activists and passionate environmental advocates gathered to show their support to our global cause; ‘Go fossil free!’. Some people expressed their thoughts by writing them while others chose to draw on our orange “thought papers”. Which were then hung on our “thought strings” for display.
We took time to reflect on how important it is to ‘Divest Maldives from fossil fuels’. We had speakers come up on open mike sharing their worries, calling government to invest on renewables and to stop ventures to explore oil in the country.
Speaking at the gathering Director, Advocacy and Campaigns of Ecocare Maldives, Maeed M. Zahir spoke about the importance of talking about climate change. “Once Mahatma Gandhi said ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win’! We maybe small in number today, and we maybe laughed at today, but we are fine, we will do more of this again. We will speak about climate change! We will speak about our reefs and we will talk about our fisherman as the implications of climate change will affect them!” he said.
Speaking on the implications of climate change and its realities on food insecurity, Environmental Advocate Aisha Niyaz said, “Climate change is real and we Maldivians are already experiencing the negative consequences. Our islands are too tiny for food production, which means we are heavily reliant on imports. With extreme weather events occurring across the globe, farms and factories are being destroyed. This means there is less food available for the current demand, which ultimately increases the price of food items available for Maldivians. What I fear most is us experiencing famine in the not so distant future.”
“We see climate change and fossil fuels as abstract concepts, when it’s not. Even by using electricity we’re using non renewables. Let’s look into what we can do. Even turning off the lights when we aren’t using it is a step. Start being part of the change, one step at a time.” Ish Afeef, President of Dhi Youth Movement said.
Our friend Laurence from Amsterdam who spoke at the gathering pointed out how this is in fact a global movement as he went on to say, “I feel privileged to be here and to witness this truly Global Day of Divestment. I am one those people who show up for 350.org events back home in Amsterdam I am glad I made the Divestment day here in the Maldives”.
Our small but meaningful gathering ended with a collective call from all of us: Divest Maldives from fossil fuels – Go Fossil Free!
Check out more event photos on our Facebook Page