As highlighted in a recent article by the international news network Al Jazeera, climate change is already having drastic effects on this small South American nation. Around 90% of the population lives from 50 centimeters to 1 meter below sea level. Between 1955 and 2005, the Guyanese coastal waters rose 17 centimeters, twice the global average.
Devastating flooding in 2005 put the capital under water for months and caused US$2 billion in damages. Now, the country is spending over US$5 million per year, an amount it can hardly afford, to build and maintain sea walls, sluice gates as well as water pumps that return the flooding salt water back to the sea.
Individuals have also been forced to elevate their homes in an effort to prevent constant inundation. Highlighting the global nature of this problem, Guyanese Agriculture Minister Robert M. Persaud stated, “Whatever happens in the climate, it is not situated in a particular part. If you look at … the United States, (or) what is happening in Europe in terms of the weather patterns and what has been taking place (there), we all see that it is becoming everyone's problem and everyone in the global community needs to do something.”
We thank you Minister Persaud, Al Jazeera and Guyana, for sharing information about this urgent situation that we indeed all share. Our prayers for the protection of the good-hearted people of Guyana and other nations facing similar challenges of rising seas, and that governments and individuals join in concerted efforts worldwide to restore the balance of our Earth.
During a February 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with great concern about this distressing predicament as she urged for the immediate actions necessary to protect lives.