- The world ocean is advancing and preparing to swallow some countries
- A digital copy of the country: a creative approach to preserving the national state
- Can a state remain a state when all the land is lost?
- Uncertain future and other risks in addition to the rising sea level
- Silence in response to appeals to protect legal rights of residents of vulnerable countries
- Historical precedents are not applicable in the current reality
- Dealing with the root cause is preferable to discussing the status of landless countries
- Second citizenship for ‘climatic refugees’ and other categories of people
- Expert support in choosing the best second citizenship option
In a few dozen years, a number of national states located on island archipelagos may find some of their atolls missing. Storm waves and the increasing water level in the World’s Oceans threaten their coastlines. The contours of national borders are already changing. Ultimately, some countries may disappear from the map. What awaits their citizens? Chances are that they are going to become stateless refugees. Acquiring second citizenship with professional assistance from our experts can help hedge the risks.
The world ocean is advancing and preparing to swallow some countries
There were times when the Ocean seemed endless to people and they had no hope of ever crossing it. Now the Ocean is capturing inhabited areas. The water is heating up. The glaciers are melting. The sea level has risen by 14 centimeters over the last hundred years.
And it continues to rise. The reason for that is global warming. It is unlikely that humanity can unite and significantly reduce greenhouse gasses emissions in the near future. Therefore, the sea level will continue to rise in all likelihood.
40% of the Earth’s population live in coastal areas. The UN experts predict that many people may have to change their places of living by moving inland. Entire countries may go under water soon and cease to exist. And their citizens will then become apatrides (stateless persons).
There are other reasons, however, why a person can lose his or her homeland. A war of conquest may be the reason or a technological disaster might make a large piece of land uninhabitable. To avoid this kind of risk, you should certainly think of acquiring a second citizenship by investment as soon as possible! Our experts will gladly help you in the endeavor.
The fastest way of acquiring second citizenship is by investment. Around a dozen countries offer the opportunity. The requirements to candidates as well as pros and cons are different in each case. Please request our experts’ assistance to make the best choice! You are welcome to apply for a free professional consultation by completing the form below.
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Reducing carbon dioxide emissions to slow down global warming, eliminating the threats of technological disasters and the consequences of natural disasters, stopping military conflicts, and liquidating other possible threats to the existence of some countries are not the tasks that could be solved on the spot. However, sitting around and doing nothing is not an option either.
Luckily, the administrations of some small countries whose entire populations are comparable to the population of an average-size city somewhere in Europe or America are trying to alarm the international community. They are also fighting the increase of the sea level in their own inventive ways.
A digital copy of the country: a creative approach to preserving the national state
There is a small island country in Polynesia in the Pacific called Tuvalu and it is under the threat of complete submersion. In response to the threat, the authorities of the country have decided to create a digital copy of the government and other institutions to facilitate relocation for the people in case the most pessimistic forecasts come true. Legal scholars are also considering the opportunities for preserving statehood in case the country has to rent land in another national state.
Simon Kofe, Tuvalu Minister of Foreign Affairs (in the center in the photo above) made the corresponding announcement in a video message to a UN conference on climate change. The conference was held in Egypt in November 2022. The Government official said the following, among other things:
“We will have to become the first digital state. The land, the ocean, and the culture are the most valuable assets that people of Tuvalu have. In an attempt to protect them against cataclysms in the physical world, we are transferring these assets to the ‘cloud’. […] In this way, we can partially preserve the state, console the people, and keep the memories of the country as it used to be for our children and grandchildren. […] Our statehood and our marine borders will be preserved notwithstanding the loss of land due to climate change”.
Mr. Kofe stressed that the decision to make a copy of Tuvalu in the virtual world was made to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the country as well as its statehood. The work has been going on for about 18 months now. The Tuvalu Minister also pointed out that if global warming is not constrained, a large number of other countries may also have to ‘move’ to the virtual world.
Can a state remain a state when all the land is lost?
Many other island countries that are similar to Tuvalu are doing their best to preserve the land that they still possess. However, the apocalyptic scenario of events is becoming closer and closer to reality. The water level in the World’s Ocean keeps rising and some scientists believe that the rate is going to increase in the second half of the century.
The contours of the islands are redrawn on the maps and storm waves threaten the coastlines. In a few years, several archipelagos may lose some atolls that are part of the countries’ territories at the moment. In a hundred years or so, several states may disappear under the water.
This fact gives rise to some important questions. What is going to happen to the citizens of these countries, their governments, and their resources? The current situation has caused legal discussions: can a state remain a state if its land sinks?
There is an intergovernmental organization called the Pacific Islands Forum that acts in the interests of the countries vulnerable to climate change. The organization has invited legal experts to consider this question. Besides, it has initiated a diplomatic campaign aimed at preserving the statehood of the countries whose land may soon sink into oblivion. The following two factors act as the foundation for these efforts:
- The assuredness, supported by scientific theories and calculations, that the water level in the World’s Ocean will continue to rise for at least a hundred years to come;
- The sense of injustice that arises because of the fact that the countries that are suffering from climate change most of all are guilty of the climate change least of all.
The alliance of small island states is made up of ¼ of the total number of countries on the planet. At the same time, they emit only 1% of all carbon dioxide emitted on the planet. The largest portion of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses emissions comes from the countries located mostly in the northern hemisphere.
The World Bank experts note that the existing rules regulating these issues were set forth in the era of climatic stability. Therefore, their reassessment is required in view of the ‘situation unprecedented in international law’.
At a recent conference on the topic that was held in Fiji, Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, laid the foundations for such discussions by formulating several existential questions:
“Our coastlines are eroded because the sea level is rising. What is going to happen to our sovereignty, to our land, to our houses? What is going to happen to our fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by our constitutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? How can we achieve our common goals when the status of the state is called into question? How can our Governments serve their people if they have no houses and no means? These are uncomfortable questions but they are real. They need answers”.
Simon Kofe, Tuvalu Minister of Foreign Affairs, also emphasized the need to determine the global rules in this sphere in order to protect the rights of the people living in the suffering countries:
“The rising of the sea level and the possible erosion of our statehood are not only hypothetical threats. They are real risks that we have to face. […] Our discourse is not limited to legal instruments and political affairs. We are speaking about the survival of our people and our nations. We can make an impact if we act urgently and resolutely”.
Uncertain future and other risks in addition to the rising sea level
Priorities in the organization of corrective actions are largely determined by the time when the impact is expected to occur. Scientists know very well about the process of the sea level rising. However, there are some uncertainties related to the amounts of future emissions of greenhouse gasses as well as the speed at which the glaciers in Greenland and Antarctic are going to melt.
Scientists from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA and members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) note that the average height above sea level is 2 meters in Tuvalu and it is unlikely that the country is going to sink before the 22nd century comes. The possible melting of the Antarctic Thwaites Glacier may lead to a 1.5-meter increase of the World’s Ocean level. This, however, is going to take dozens of years.
According to the scientists, there is a more realistic source of risk: the storm surges. This phenomenon does not simply lead to an increase of the water level. A certain region is flooded several times a year and it becomes unlivable while flooded. It is expected that storm surges are going to become a serious problem indeed, before the vulnerable islands actually sink. Living along the coastline is going to become impossible soon unless some protective structures are built there.
Tuvalu as well as some other island states have recently started fortifying their coastlines with concrete blocks that are meant to save them from storm waves. However, this is only a temporary measure as the blocks are going to deteriorate with time. The islands will remain vulnerable to tsunamis anyway.
Silence in response to appeals to protect legal rights of residents of vulnerable countries
In the face of these threats, the need to protect the rights of the citizens of island countries comes to the fore. In 2020, the Pacific Islands Forum called upon the international community to provide some guarantees. The member countries wanted to be sure that they could preserve control over their water areas and their resources even if their land territories were eroded.
The authorities of Tuvalu called upon other national governments to keep recognizing the statehood of the jurisdiction regardless of the consequences brought about by climate change. Mr. Kofe referred to the definition of state that the Montevideo Convention contains. The documents sets forth the following 4 criteria that define a state:
- Physical territory;
- Ability to establish relations with other states.
When commenting on these criteria, the politician pointed out that the first one was outdated:
“If we accepted this definition, Tuvalu would lose its statehood in case its physical territory was lost and the people had to move to another place. We proceed from the worst-case scenario. If bad comes to worse, we would like the world to continue to recognize our statehood as a permanent status anyway”.
As of today, only seven countries have expressed agreement with this proposal. These include the following ones:
- Saint Kitts;
- ·Saint Lucia;
The Government of Tuvalu is also discussing the question with larger neighboring states including New Zealand and Australia.
Historical precedents are not applicable in the current reality
Some UN experts who took part in the Fiji conference mentioned above referred to historical precedents relevant to the issue. In particular, they spoke about some governments working in exile during wars, the relocation of the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta.
However, these relocations were temporary and the land that people had left remained physically existent. On the other hand, a national government that evacuates from the country because of a climatic crisis may find it more difficult to prove its legitimacy when the land of its country goes under water.
Loss of fertile lands and other economic resources can also make it difficult to comply with international obligations to protect the citizens’ assets, maintain embassies, and pay membership fees to various international organizations.
If all the people of a certain country have to relocate to another national state, will they be able to preserve their national culture by living in a diaspora in a foreign land? Experts note that there is no such category as ‘climatic refugees’ in international law. Currently, the decisions can be based only on the existing agreements on human rights and refugees.
There is one more issue that may arise too: if the people evacuate to another country, will they become stateless persons? What if the country where they move disallows dual citizenship? What happens when a child belonging to the evacuated nation is born in foreign land?
A possible solution might be a merger with another state. The World Bank experts mentioned this option by referring to the countries of Zanzibar and Tanganyika. The two national states merged in 1964 and the country of Tanzania appeared on the map.
Dealing with the root cause is preferable to discussing the status of landless countries
The participants of the Fiji conference noted that the speculations about ‘landless states’ should not divert the public attention from a much more pressing task. Large countries that emit the best part of greenhouse gasses (the USA, European countries, China, and India) have to be convinced of the necessity to reduce their emissions significantly. This would be the most efficient way of slowing down global warming.
Even though some island countries are sinking, they are not giving up the fight. They are pushing larger countries to take full responsibility and to participate in solving the problems that small island countries face in a more active manner. Combating climate change is a matter of survival for some national states.
Second citizenship for ‘climatic refugees’ and other categories of people
People whose homeland is under the threat of extinction will be well-advised to acquire foreign citizenship in advance. Right now, the fastest, the simplest, and the surest method of acquiring second citizenship is making an investment in a ‘golden passport’. The table below lists the countries that make it possible to obtain their citizenship remotely:
|Country||Cost, US$||Citizenship acquisition timeframe|
|Antigua||100,000||From three to six months|
|Grenada||150,000||From three to six months|
|Dominica||100,000||From three to six months|
|St Kitts||150,000||1.5-4 months|
|St Lucia||100,000||From three to six months|
In addition, there are other economic citizenship programs in Europe and elsewhere: Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Malta, and North Macedonia offer similar opportunities. However, all of these countries require a personal visit if a foreign national wishes to obtain their citizenship.
Expert support in choosing the best second citizenship option
There are many reasons why you should seek to obtain a second passport as well as many different paths that lead to second citizenship. You have to investigate all the available opportunities and assess the characteristics that each second citizenship option possesses before you start building a collection of national passports.
Acquiring second citizenship is not a trivial task and you need professional support in the matter. We will be happy to introduce you to a trustworthy immigration agent in the jurisdiction of your choice after we have a brief conversation with you. Please apply for a free personal consultation on obtaining second citizenship with Offshore Pro Group experts.
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