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The Environment Agency in the U.K. warned the country’s communities living in the coastal areas that they may be forced to relocate because of coastal erosion and rising sea levels.
James Bevan, the chief executive of the agency, said that “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,” he added.
The chief went on to say that the relocation will be hard as communities have already gotten used to where they’re currently situated in.
The increase in sea levels does not just affect the U.K. but the world, particularly in the small islands in the Pacific and Indian ocean regions.
The President of Maldives has expressed concern about the negative impact of the phenomenon on their archipelago made of 1,192 islands.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 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.”
U.K.’s Environment Agency said that it would be better for the inhabitants to be moved to a safer place than protect them without moving them.
On the agency’s website, they have already expressed that the movement of communities is inevitable considering the way that the climate is acting.
The Global mean sea level “reached a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4.5 mm per year over the period 2013–2021,” says the World Meteorological Organization.
The U.K. has it all planned. Bevan released the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy Roadmap, an extensive step-by-step mitigation and precautionary measure that promote the safety and security of its citizens.
“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,” Bevan said.
However, Bevan clarified that talks and researches are still ongoing in the identification of what areas would 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.”