Las Islas Maldivas en peligro de desaparecer por subida del nivel del mar debido al calentamiento y deshielo planetario
The Maldives government has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MoU) agreement with the University of Milano-Bicocca to implement scientific and academic programs at an outpost of the university in Magoodhoo island, Faafu atoll.
Tres euros al día sería la contribución de cada turista, lo que supondría más de 6 millones de euros al año, teniendo en cuenta que las 1.192 islas acogen entre enero y diciembre alrededor de 700.000 turistas que se quedan unos tres días de promedio.
Si el Parlamento da luz verde a la propuesta del Gobierno, el dinero será invertido el gran plan ecológico lanzado hace unos meses por Nasheed. El presidente, recién elegido el pasado otoño, quiere poner en marcha sobre los atolones una "revolución verde".
Más de 150 aerogeneradores, medio kilómetro cuadrado de paneles solares en los tejados y una planta de energía innovadora que funcionará con cáscara de coco son algunos de los elementos del proyecto que aspira a que las Maldivas se conviertan en el primer país en el mundo con un impacto ecológico cero.
En este proyecto también están involucrados investigadores de la Universidad Bicocca de Milán. Nasheed ha puesto a disposición de los científicos un islote donde construir un centro de investigación y formación. Los estudiosos italianos se ocuparán de diseñar los paneles solares y desarrollar nuevas técnicas de trasplante de corales amenazados por el calentamiento de las aguas.
Según las cifras publicadas por la organización ecologista WWF, los océanos aumentarán más de un metro a finales de siglo. Las predicciones de Naciones Unidas hace dos años ya hablaban de una subida de 60 centímetros. Demasiado, en cualquier caso. "Las Maldivas están a cinco metros sobre el nivel del mar”, explica el director científico de la WWF, Gianfranco Bologna. “Ignorar el riesgo de muerte es ahora imposible".
www.natura-medioambiental.com/.../impuesto-verde-un-pais-en-riesgo-de.html - En caché
Islas Maldivas amenazada por catástrofe ambiental (+ Video)
Las Islas Maldivas, en el Océano Indico, figuran entre las que en el presente siglo serían cubiertas por el mar si prosigue acelerándose la combinación del calentamiento global y el derretimiento de los hielos polares. No es el único país en peligro, pero sí el de mayor peligro, por el hecho de que el 80 por ciento de sus 1 200 islas están solo un metro por encima del nivel mar.
Una de las noticias más curiosas y sorprendentes del presente año la protagonizaron hace un par de semanas el Presidente de la República de las Maldivas, Mohammed Nasheed, y 14 ministros que con trajes de buzos y balones de oxígeno, acompañados de varios instructores, efectuaron su reunión mensual en el fondo del mar, junto a la isla de Grifushi. Ocupando asientos frente a una mesa en forma de herradura, de forma simbólica, firmaron simbólicamente a seis metros de profundidad una resolución que demanda una acción mundial para lograr una reducción de las emisiones de carbono (CO2) hacia la atmósfera. Esta resolución será presentada en Copenhague cuando en diciembre próximo se realice la cumbre de la ONU sobre el cambio climático.
Existe un video en Internet que muestra el desarrollo de esa reunión submarina del gobierno de Las Maldivas. Para ver el video, pinche aquí.
Las Maldivas, el país menos poblado de Asia y del mundo musulmán, temen seriamente ser borradas del mapa por la irracionalidad de gobiernos y grandes corporaciones de los países capitalistas altamente industrializados, principales contaminadores del medio ambiente al actuar más en función de sus intereses monetarios que en los de la supervivencia humana. La avaricia los lleva a la ceguera, no obstante los resultados de los estudios y constantes advertencias de prominentes científicos.
Quizás las pequeñas Islas Maldivas sean entre los 192 países que integran la ONU donde mayor preocupación existe sobre el cambio climático. Fue, por eso, el primer gobierno que firmó el protocolo de Kyoto, que establece metas para la reducción de los gases que provocan el efecto invernadero. En las escuelas la asignatura Ecología está al mismo nivel de importancia que la Aritmética y la Gramática. Se ha procedido a un plan de reforestación para prevenir la erosión de las playas, y existe un plan de limpieza de los corales, barrera natural contra las mareas. Malé, su capital, donde vive la mayor parte de sus 370 mil habitantes, está rodeada de un muro de tres metros de altura para protegerse de las mareas altas, cuya construcción tomó 14 años y costó 63 millones de dólares, una cifra bien elevada para una república que tiene escasez de tierras cultivables y que depende exclusivamente para sus ingresos financieros de lo que aportan la pesca y sus playas de arena blanca, a las que acuden turistas de Europa. Y, además, en Las Maldivas su gobierno proyecta utilizar en la próxima década fuentes de energía renovable -eólica y solar– si logra ingresar con su débil economía 110 millones de dólares anualmente
Según los científicos, de aquí a 2100, el aumento de la temperatura global del planeta podría ocasionar una subida de las aguas de entre 50 centímetros y 1, 40 metros en menos de 100 años, es decir, el doble de lo que se había estimado que subiría. El investigador Stefan Rahmstorf, profesor de física de los océanos del Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, ha realizado un análisis en el que relaciona la subida global del nivel del mar con la temperatura global de la superficie de la Tierra.
En la revista Science señaló que existe una amenaza para los humanos teniendo en cuenta que la tasa de elevación de las aguas es aproximadamente proporcional a la magnitud del calentamiento. Según Rahmstorf, los modelos de simulación han subestimado durante mucho tiempo el ascenso del nivel del mar, que subirá un 50% más de lo que se creía.
Cien millones de personas que viven a un metro o menos por encima del nivel del mar podrían verse con “los pies en el agua” si no se impone la racionalidad. Incluso se teme inundaciones en grandes ciudades occidentales como Londres o Nueva York. Es un asunto bien serio si no se ejecutan acciones que detengan la subida de las temperaturas provocadas por el efecto invernadero. A más temperatura, mayor nivel de los océanos. Más peligro, en fin, para las Maldivas y para islas, archipiélagos e incluso continentes que tienen costas.
Juan Marrero Periodista cubano, vicepresidente de la Unión de Periodistas de Cuba
Maldives signs agreement with University of Milano-Bicocca for scientific and academic programs at Magoodhoo, Faafu atoll
By Minivan News | June 24th, 2010 |
The government has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MoU) agreement with the University of Milano-Bicocca to implement scientific and
academic programs at an outpost of the university in Magoodhoo island, Faafu atoll.
With the agreement coming into effect the university will:
- Cover expenses related to research at the outpost;
- Provide all research equipment, instrumentation and other materials;
- Provide subsidised tuition fees for local students;
- Arrange two scholarships from various funding institutions.
For local students studying at the university:
- the university will organise Italian language classes for primary and secondary students at the island on a no fee basis.
At the agreement ceremony, President Nasheed and delegates from the university discussed how to make the outpost more effective, and how to implement the university programmes on the island as soon as possible.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the government by the minister of state for foreign affairs Ahmed Naseem, and on behalf of the university, rector Marcello Fontanesi.
The University of Milano-Bicocca’s new research outpost in Faafu, Magoodhoo will offer Maldivian students the chance to study for Bachelor of Arts and diploma degrees, the government announced today.
The research outpost, officially named the ‘International University Centre for Research and Higher Education’ will offer Maldivians the chance to study for degrees in marine biology, environmental management, tourism economy and tourism management. It will also offer Italian language courses.
The university outpost is due to open before the end of 2009. Government officials say Maldivian students will be able to enroll in courses as early as 2010.
Speaking in Magoodhoo yesterday, President Nasheed welcomed the new educational opportunities the research centre will bring.
He added that his administration is committed to widening higher education opportunities in the Maldives.
The President said that the Maldives should become one of the top countries in the world to study subjects such as marine biology, hospitality and hotel management.
At present, there is no university in the country.
The university outpost is a joint initiative between the government and the University of Milano-Bicocca, based in Milan, Italy.
The University of Milano-Bicocca is one of Italy’s top three universities, where 900 lecturers and researchers teach over 30,000 students in 71 different courses.
The University is renowned as a world-class tropical marine biology research institute. It is also famed for having one of Italy’s top hospitality and hotel management schools.
Under the agreement with the government, which was first discussed during President Nasheed’s trip to Italy in February, around 30 professors, researchers and students from the University of Milano-Bicocca will be stationed at the research outpost in Magoodhoo.
They will conduct research into coral reefs, tropical ecosystems and the potential impact of climate change on the Maldives’ marine environment. The university outpost will also focus on tourism management.
Maldivian students will be able to study in English at the Magoodhoo university outpost towards Milano-Bicocca University’s prestigious international degree certificates.
The University of Milano-Bicocca will also offer scholarships to Maldivian students enrolled in the Magoodhoo outpost, which will pay for them to study at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy.
Professor Fontanesi, President and Rector of the University of Milano-Bicocca, said today:
“Our university’s mission is to promote world-class research and teaching. The Maldives is a unique place to study tropical marine eco-systems, coral reefs and the impact of human activity on the environment.”
“We are delighted to provide educational opportunities for Maldivian students to study at the University of Milano-Bicocca outpost in Magoodhoo, as well as in Italy.
“We received a very enthusiastic welcome from Magoodhoo during our visit to the island yesterday. We want to involve the local community as much as possible in the university outpost,” Professor Fontanesi added.
Ali Shiyam, Economic Adviser to President Nasheed, said: “We want to build a knowledge-based economy, to propel the country forward in the 21st Century. This outpost is a step towards that goal.”
“It provides a wonderful opportunity for Maldivian students to obtain a world class educational certificate without having to leave the Maldives.”
“The fact that the outpost is in Magoodhoo also demonstrates the government’s commitment to developing the outer atolls,” Shiyam added.
Languages of Maldives
Republic of Maldives. 359,008. National or official language: Maldivian. 1,200 islands; 203 inhabited. Literacy rate: 96%–97%. Immigrant languages: Sinhala (1,400). Also includes Arabic (300), languages of India (1,000). Information mainly from J. Gair 1980. Deaf population: 15,278. The number of individual languages listed for Maldives is 1.
[div] 356,000 in Maldives (2007). Population total all countries: 371,000. Widespread. Also in India. Alternate names: Dhivehi, Divehi, Divehi Bas, Divehli, Mali, Malikh, Malki. Dialects: Male, Huvudu, Foa Mulaku, Addu. Southern dialects mutually intelligible but not with Male. Southerners understand Male by acquired intelligibility. Male cannot understand the others. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Sinhalese-Maldivian
Tissamaharama potsherd evidences ordinary early Tamils among population
A potsherd inscription in Tamil Brahmi found some times back in an archaeological excavation by a German team at Tissamaharama in the Hambantota district of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka can be interpreted as meaning an equipment to measure, and thus evidences the presence of ordinary Tamil speaking people in the population of that region as early as at 2200 years before present, says archaeologist and epigraphist, Ponnampalam Ragupathy. The identification of the script of the legend as Tamil Brahmi and the decipherment getting the reading Thira’li Mu’ri in Tamil by veteran epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan in an article last month in The Hindu, has stirred interest of the archaeological circles in the island to unearth this old find from obscurity to limelight.
Inscribed potsherd from archaeological excavation at Tissamaharama, Hambantota District, Sri Lanka: From left to right the first letter is Li, second one is ra and the third one is ti. From right to left they are read as tiraLi. The fourth and fifth ones are symbols or graffiti marks. The sixth letter is mu and the seventh one is Ri. The last two are read from left to right as muRi. A little away is found a vertical line that perhaps marks the end of the legend. [Image courtesy: Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka and the academics who sent it]
Full text of the article by Dr. P. Ragupathy:
An inscribed piece of pottery from Tissamaharama
An inscribed piece of Black and Red Ware pottery was found in the archaeological excavations at Tissamaharama in the Hambantota District of Southern Province, Sri Lanka, sometimes back.
Information of the find, along with decipherment of the legend, appeared in The Hindu on 24th June, in an article “An Epigraphic Perspective on the Antiquity of Tamil,” written by veteran epigraphist Iravatam Mahadevan. His article has kindled interest in the official circles of archaeology in Sri Lanka to take notice of the find, which was hitherto not brought by them to the knowledge of the public.
According to Iravatam Mahadevan, the piece of pottery was found in the earliest layer of the excavation and the German scholars who undertook the excavation provisionally dated it to around 200 BCE.
Mahadevan, who identifies the writing on the pottery as Tamil in the Tamil Brahmi script, reads it as “tiraLi muRi” and interprets it as “written agreement of the assembly”.
“The inscription bears testimony to the presence in southern Sri Lanka of a local Tamil merchant community organised in a guild to conduct inland and maritime trade as early as at the close of the 3rd century BCE,” he further says in the article.
A few days ago, the present writer received a clear photograph and a drawing of the pottery sent by academic sources in Sri Lanka seeking opinion.
A perusal of the pottery legend as it appears in the photographs show that Iravatham Mahadevan’s identification of the script as Tamil Brahmi and his reading of the legend in Tamil could hardly be challenged. But there are possibilities of alternative interpretations.
The legend is a combination of readable Tamil Brahmi and unreadable graffiti or symbols that usually appear in megalithic and early historic pottery.
From left to right, the first three are Brahmi letters, the next two are symbols and the following last two letters are again in Brahmi. There is a vertical line, a little bit away from the legend that perhaps marks the end of the legend like a full stop.
Mahadevan reads the first three letters from right to left to get the reading ‘thiraLi’ and reads the last two letters from left to right to get the reading ‘muRi,’ keeping the unreadable symbols in the middle.
Brahmi was usually written from left to right just like all the South Asian-origin scripts of today. In the very few occasions when Tamil Brahmi was found written from right to left, the letters were inverted to serve the purpose of reading it from the above. (Mahadevan, I., 2003, Early Tamil Epigraphy p 179-180).
However, in the island of Sri Lanka, some examples have already been noticed in which Brahmi was found written from right to left without inverting the letters, indicating that even though obscure it was a writing practice in the island. (Paranavitana 1970, Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol I, plate xxii; Karunaratne. S., 1984, cited by Mahadevan, ibid. p.180).
But, perhaps this is the first time, a single legend is partly read from right to left and partly read from left to right, keeping symbols in the middle. The reason for this way of the writing in the pottery needs investigation.
From left to right, the first letter of the pottery legend is a clear Tamil Brahmi ‘Li’ (palatal L). This script is known in the Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka too. No word begins from this letter in the known diction of Tamil, Sinhala, Prakrit or Sanskrit. Mahadevan is logical in reading the three letters placed left to the symbols from right to left to get the meaningful word ‘tiraLi’.
The last letter of the legend (as counted from left to right) is a clear Tamil Brahmi script ‘Ri’ (retroflex R). A few years ago Prof. P. Pushparatnam identified the presence of retroflex R in the Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka. (Pushparatnam. P., cited by Mahadevan I., ibid., p.195).
Once again Mahadevan is logical in reading the last two letters placed right to the symbols from left to right to get the meaningful word ‘muRi’,
But why the legend meaning “written agreement of the assembly” of trade guild connotations according to Mahadevan, should appear on a small pottery of day-to-day use is a question.
Such pottery legends usually mark individual ownership, serving the purpose of identification.
Both ‘tiraLi’ and ‘muRi’ are connected to the words tiraL, muRi and muRai, listed as Tamil words in the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary (entries, 3245, 5008, 5010 and 5015).
The word ‘muRi’ as a noun has several shades of meaning in Tamil. In its literary usages it means sprout or young leaf in Cankam diction; writing, deed, document, written agreement etc in early medieval diction and settlement in old lexicons (Glossary of Historical Tamil Literature, Santi Sadhana, p.2028).
The word ‘muRai’, apart from agreement, approved code of conduct etc (DED 5015), also means share (panku), measure (aLavu) and portion (pakuti) in the Cankam diction itself. (nattiNai 336:6; neTunalvaaTai 70, 177)
The latter shades of meanings are from the verb form of the word muRi, which means ‘to divide, break down etc’ (DED 5008). In the lexicons muRai also means anything that is amassed (kooTTu). (Pinkalam 10:953).
In some instances of usage in Tamil inscriptions muRi means a division of land (DED 5008, Glossary of Tamil Inscriptions, Santi Sadhana, p.510).
Interestingly in a surviving usage of contemporary Eezham Tamil muRi means a chunk, portion etc (as in ‘meen muRi’ for a piece of fish in the curry).
The shade of meaning, deed, agreement or written bond for the word muRi is found for the first time only in the devotional literature of the 7th century CE (Glossary of Historical Tamil Literature, ibid.). This shade of meaning must have come from the Cankam usage of the word for leaf. But the meanings share, division, measure etc from the verb root muRi are older shades of meaning as found in muRai and are more or less contemporaneous in usage to the pottery legend under discussion.
Therefore, it is more appropriate to consider that the word ‘muRi’ in the potsherd legend means a measuring utensil or a standard cubic measure. The pottery in question is a flat bottomed and raised edged dish. But it is deep enough to be a cubic measure.
Interestingly, the other word ‘tiraLi’ could also mean the same – ‘an equipment to amass’.
The word ‘tiraL’ as a verb means, to become round, globular, assemble, congregate, collect in large numbers, accumulate, abound etc (DED 3245) and as a noun or adjective means, mass, matured produce, group, ball of rice, society, heap, pearl, congregation of people etc (Glossary of Historical Tamil Literature p.1049).
Even though tiraL could mean an assembly of people, neither the word nor the derivate tiraLi was ever found used to indicate a trade guild.
In fact, in available Tamil diction tiraLi as a noun only means a kind of fish. Another derivate tiraLai means a ball of cooked rice.
However, originating from the verb root tiraL, the word tiraLi could very well mean a utensil or equipment that was used in amassing commodities – in other words a cubic measure.
In this context note the word formation for the vessel ‘uruLi’ in Malayalam from the verb root ‘uruL’ (to round).
There is another possibility that tiraLi muRi may mean ‘a mould for cooked rice’ or a measure for rice balls (from tiraLai), but the fact that one word being written from right to left and the other word from left to right make it not much sensible to think that both words belong to one phrase.
It seems, both words tiraLi and muRi are synonyms for an equipment of cubic measure and one word was written right to left and the other left to right, keeping the symbols in the middle.
This also means that the symbols or graffiti at the centre were given the foremost importance in the legend and were probably incised first before writing the words in either direction in Brahmi. Whether the symbols or graffiti have anything to do with the meaning of the words needs further research.
Megalithic graffiti, the lineage of which is traced back to the Indus Writing, appearing along with Brahmi in suggesting ways during the transition period of megalithic into early historic, is a very significant topic for serious further investigation.
In 1980, a similar find, a steatite seal having graffiti in the first line and Brahmi in the second line, has been found in the excavation of a megalithic burial at Aanaikkoaddai in the Jaffna Peninsula and its significance has already been discussed (Indrapala, K., 26-04-1981, The Hindu; 2006, The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity, pp 337-338; Ragupathy. P., 09-07-1981, The Hindu; 1987, Early Settlements in Jaffna: An Archaeological Survey, pp. 199-204).
Many pottery fragments having legends written in the combination of Brahmi and graffiti have also been found in the excavations of the megalithic site at Kodumanal in Tamil Nadu by Y. Subbarayalu and K. Rajan. (Subbarayalu. Y., 1988 and 1996, unpublished, cited by Mahadevan. I., ibid., pp. 206-210).
As far as the Tissamaharama find is concerned it may not perhaps mean the presence of a Tamil trade guild but may mean the presence of ordinary Tamil speaking people in the population.
Dr. P. Ragupathy taught archaeology at the University of Jaffna in the early 1980s, was Professor of South Asian Studies and Head of the Postgraduate Departments at the Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar, and for a brief period served as consultant at the National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research in the Republic of Maldives. He has authored Early Settlements in Jaffna: An Archaeological Survey (1987), An Etymological Dictionary of Maldivian Island Names (2008) and has co-authored Inscriptions of Maldives Vol I (2005).
The photograph of the inscribed piece of Black and Red Ware pottery, appeared in the article of Iravatham Mahadevan in The Hindu, 24th June 2010 [Image courtesy - The Hindu]