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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Underwater sovereignty : the importance of climate leadership for the Republic of Maldives Hai, Aliya


The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) leadership highlights the implications of global climate change upon national and international security frameworks. As chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) for four consecutive years, the Maldives aims to tackle the challenges of climate change by implementing climate related national and international strategies, targets and policies. This paper focuses on why the Maldives prioritizes climate leadership as one of its main political goals. I argue that the nation prioritizes climate leadership in order to gain soft power within the international community; to build developmental assistance for the nation; to promote tourism by crafting an international image of a nation committed to eradicating climate change; to reduce the existential social, political and economic threats caused by climate change that would otherwise destabilize the nation and threaten the existing political leadership; and lastly, as a symbol of green leadership in the world. The Maldivian climate leadership strives to become a source of inspiration and a model for other nations to follow suit. The findings of this paper promote a deeper understanding of Maldivian climate politics, the understanding of climate leadership in the Maldives via agenda framing, political networks, rhetoric and state-crafted bargaining in order to safeguard their national sovereignty and re-define the parameters of global climate leadership.

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