The Maldives are a tiny nation with a fragile environment and a fragile democracy. The effects of global warming on the Maldives could create a volatile situation within the country. Rising sea levels threaten the country’s tourism-dependent economy and the very existence of the country. In addition, the country’s president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has dominated the country’s political scene for nearly 30 years. Gayoom is also head of all Islamic institutions in the Maldives. Over the past few years the country has been hit with anti-Gayoom protests. A prison riot resulted in the death of three inmates and spilled out into violent protests in the country. Although Gayoom has promised reforms towards a more open democracy, the reforms have been slow. With global warming and rising sea levels threatening not only the economy, but the entire country’s existence, protests against Gayoom could again flair up into violence.
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