Big crowd attended Fika without borders seminar focusing on Maldives

SASA organised its fifth 2015 Fika without borders seminar, this time focusing on The Maldives, on Thursday 1 October 2015, 17–19, at the usual venue: the basement floor at Lund University External Relations (ER) building, Stora Algatan 4, Lund. The Maldives seminar drew a record crowd of more than 70 people. It consisted of three informal talks about the Maldives; one on climate change risks and tourism, and another on journalistic freedom in the country. See the poster.

maldives145bThe first presentation was given by Nils Finn Munch-Petersen (on photo), Senior expert at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, Denmark. He spoke about the Maldives before the advent of tourism, perceptions of climate change,  Maldivian Islam and the erosion of journalistic freedoms.

Nashfa Hawwa and Axel Vikström.

Nashfa Hawwa and Axel Vikström.

The second presentation was given by Nashfa Hawwa, Maldivian student in the Master’s programme in Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University. She illustrated how tourism on the islands is adopted to increasing climate change risks. She did so based on her own experiences on the island as well as her involvement in the Tourism Adaptation Project (TAP). Tourism is the dominant sector of the Maldivian economy and is linked to many other industries such as agriculture, fisheries and waste management. The talk will engage with the ways in which climate change undermines the resilience and viability of these industries and provides insights into how risks can be minimized by altering day-to-day tourism operations.

The third presentation was given by Axel Vikström, a student of journalism at Lund University. His talk was based on his experiences in the Maldives for a study project on reporting on the democracy crisis in the Maldives, a decline in human rights, decreasing religious tolerance and disappearing journalists. For his project he received a fieldwork grant from SASA/SASNET.
In between the talks, coffee, tea and Maldivian tuna fish snacks were served!
Fika Without Borders South Asia events is a project started by SASA, in collaboration with SASNET, in which SASA organises a fika once a month, each time focusing on one of the eight South Asian countries. The 2015 series started with a Nepal fika on 5th February, an India fika on March 19th, a Pakistan fika on May 7th, and a Sri Lanka seminar on May 28th. Upcoming events are a Bangladesh seminar on October 22nd,and an Afghanistan seminar on November 26th.


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