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The rise in sea level due to climate change will force people to leave their country and shift to neighbouring nations, a maritime security expert said today. Former Indian Coast Guard Chief Prabhakaran Paleri said the rising sea level has threatened existence of few countries, which will completely go underwater. "There are quiet a few countries which can go completely under water. What will happen when these people will be displaced, that time human traffickers will thrive and crime rate will increase," said Paleri. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a three-day conference Sagar Discourse 1.0 organised by Forum for Integrated National Security with representatives from 22 countries taking part in it. "Rise in sea level will give rise to several problems specially for the countries which are low lying. While for those countries with bigger land mass, people can go backwards, but there are some countries wherein fear of going underwater looms large due to the sea rise as a result of climate change," he said. "In our country when the sea level rises we can go backwards but in some countries when sea level rises they have no place to go because they are one-and-half or two feet (above sea level)," Paleri said. "These people will have to find places and refugees will come. They all will come to the nearest countries," he added. "India is a place where most of the people come.
We have been facing this kind of problem for years," Paleri added. "The affected people will pack the bag go to different countries. Now itself we will have to think about it because it can happen any time," the former ICG chief warned. "We cannot allow people to come to our country as that is not easy. Under international law these people are not considered as refugees. They will come sailing," he said. Paleri said the countries will have to create laws so that we know how to handle the situation. The conference was inaugurated yesterday by Union Minister of State for External affairs M J Akbar in the presence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
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