the indigenous Kuna people, who have lived for hundreds of years on
islands in an archipelago off Panama’s northwestern coast, the
increasingly intense effects of climate change such as stronger winds,
storms and higher tides are now leaving them in ankle- or knee-deep
water, often for days on end. Their situation has also been made worse
by the harvesting and acidification of many offshore coral reefs, which
previously provided protection.
Sea level rises of up to 59 centimeters have been forecast by the United Nations to occur by century’s end.
those calculations did not account for what is now known to be the
accelerated melting of vast ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, and
scientists more recently warned that the seas could rise two meters
Thus, with the prospect of conditions only worsening,
some of the islands’ 32,000 people have begun to prepare for a move to
the Panamanian mainland. In other areas of the world, communities on
island nations such as Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji have already
had to relocate due to rising sea level effects such as inundation of
buildings and salt water contamination of crops.
Hector Guzman, a
marine biologist specialist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research
Institute in Panama states, “This is no longer about a scientist saying
that climate change and the change in sea level will flood (a people)
and affect them. This is happening now in the real world.” We send our
prayers for the strength and resiliency of the Panamanian Kuna people at
this difficult time.
May we all heed such warning signs from science and nature alike to act quickly in sustainable ways and
avert the loss of lands, cultures and lives.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has on several occasions spoken of the devastating effects of rising sea levels and
how to address this urgent matter, as during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
The threats imposed by global warming are more than imminent; they are
already here, as you can see through many disasters, upheavals, climate
refugees, phenomena around the world.http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFN1815479220100711?pageNumber=4&virtualBrandChannel=0http://www.care2.com/causes/global-warming/blog/paradise-denied-climate-change-refugees-in-panama-and-elsewhere-flee-to-mainland
It’s the rising sea levels
as well that force people to lose their home, their ancestral home, to
go begging elsewhere; losing also their dignity, losing everything, not
just physical possessions, but losing their loved ones as well.
must change while there is still time. So please, everyone, plant veg,
be veg and we can go green later when we’ve already saved the planet.