Monday, October 19, 2009

Maldives Cabinet Meeting underwater

Maldives government ministers had taken lessons underwater signs for an extraordinary Cabinet meeting at the bottom of the ocean with the intention to highlight the threat global warming poses to the low-lying nation.

Since taking charge last year, President Mohammed Nasheed has emerged as an important International voice on the impact of climate change with fears that rising ocean levels could swamp this Indian Ocean within a century.

He has announced plans for a fund to buy a new homeland for his people if the Maldives’ 1,192 low-lying coral islands are submerged. He also has promised to make the Maldives, with a population of 350,000, the world’s first carbon-neutral nation within a decade.

Nasheed chaired a meeting of his 14 Cabinet ministers about 20 feet (six meters) underwater on Oct. 17, said Aminath Shauna, an official from the president’s office.

“The intention is to draw the attention of the world leaders to the issue of global warming and highlight how serious are the threats faced by Maldives as a result,” she said.

The Maldives’ islands average 7 feet (2.13 meters) above sea level, making the Maldives the lowest-lying nation on Earth.

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