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Planning for Climate Change: Singapore Wants Dutch Dikes - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Singapore has decided not to wait for sea levels to rise, preferring to plan ahead. Elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew said the city-state has contacted experts from the Netherlands for help with dike construction as it prepares for the effects of climate change.

Singapore is worried about rising sea levels. Nobody knows for sure how much sea levels will rise as a result of global warming. But rather than waiting to find out for sure, Singapore has already begun planning. According to a news report in the English-language paper Straits Times, the tiny island nation just off of Malaysia has contacted Dutch experts for help in building protective dikes.

The 663 square kilometer city-state has begun researching such technology, "because by the time the waters have risen (and) we want to start learning, that is too late," former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew said according to the paper. "So we have already got in touch with the Dutch, who know how to build dikes."

Lee, who is now part of the cabinet of his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said that the Singaporean government has already contacted the Netherlands-based research and consulting firm Delft Hydraulics, though the company on Tuesday was unable to immediately confirm that such an inquiry had been made. The company already enjoys close cooperation with Singapore in other areas including a research center recently established together with the National University of Singapore, according to a company spokeswoman.

by Fran on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 12:16:21 AM EST
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