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News number: 9107160030

13:08 | 2013-04-12

World

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Cubans on Alert for Rising Sea Levels

TEHRAN (FNA)- Cuba's coastal communities are vulnerable to the gradual rise of sea levels as a result of global warming, an official said.



Director of the National Environmental Agency (AMA) Tomas Escobar warned that the rise in sea levels will affect agriculture and forestry, leaving severe consequences for a country that is struggling to wean itself off food imports.

Escobar said climate change will affect water quality and availability, something Cuba has already felt, Xinhua reported.

"If the current rate of increase in sea levels holds, by 2050 we will have lost nearly 2,700 square km of land area and almost 9,000 homes," Escobar told a panel of experts.

Facing the consequences of climate change and rising sea levels, the Cuban government has outlined a policy based on preventive measures, such as the pursuit of low-polluting technologies.

The government is also giving priority to the preservation and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems, including coral reefs, mangroves and beaches, and has programs in place to repopulate endangered or commercially important species, including the artificial breeding of sea sponges and the creation of oyster farms.