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University of Malta (2011)

Perceptions on sea level rise in small Mediterranean islands with special reference to the Maltese Islands

Farrugia, Monica

Titre : Perceptions on sea level rise in small Mediterranean islands with special reference to the Maltese Islands

Auteur : Farrugia, Monica

Université de soutenance : University of Malta

Grade : Master of Arts Islands and Small States Studies 2011

Résumé
This thesis adopts a three-pronged approach whereby the opinion of experts in various fields that may somehow be related to the sea level rise issue is sought while attempting to elicit information directly from the policymakers and gauging public opinion on the subject. The over-riding principle is that the decisions taken by policymakers, including those meant to address sea-level rise, are formulate on the basis of the feedback obtained from experts. These decisions will eventually affect the quality of life of individuals and entire populations. A consequence to the climate change phenomenon, sea level rise presents huge challenges to the livelihood of millions that presently thrive in the coastal areas and, in particular, islands and island states such as the Maltese islands. The investigation in this study is largely survey based with responses from foreign and local experts in conjunction with public opinion from three coastal localities in the Maltese islands : Mellieha and Marsascala in Malta and Xlendi in Gozo. This thesis argues although a lot is said with regards to climate change and its effects, one of which is sea-level rise, the public is not concerned about the considerable effects this phenomenon can have on the future of islands. The socio-economic considerations vis-à-vis sea level rise and with respect to coastal localities are very significant, complex and diverse. The outcome of this study reveals the possible existence of a lack of interest in addressing the phenomenon. To a certain extent this is reflected by the weak feedback that has been obtained from policymakers. Despite a considerable degree of concern about the issue the general perception overall seems to be that the phenomenon and its impacts do not rank highly on national political agendas. The role of the media is pivotal to inform and educate the public about sea level rise and its potential impacts and, at the higher political level, international relations between States must be significantly strengthened to ensure that the challenge is tackled most effectively.

Présentation (OAR@UM)

Page publiée le 1er juin 2022