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In an effort to highlight climate change, the Cabinet of the government
of the Maldives, an Indian island nation, has held a meeting under
Meetings of government ministers can
sometimes be a dry affair. That certainly was not the case during the
latest gathering of the Cabinet of the Maldives.
Mohamed Nasheed and 11 of his government ministers, plus the vice
president and Cabinet secretary, donned scuba gear and plunged six
meters below the shimmering turquoise surface of an Indian Ocean
The Cabinet seated behind tables, amid a coral backdrop, used hand gestures to communicate.
The president is a certified diver but other Cabinet members had to take
lessons in recent weeks to prepare for the unprecedented meeting.
resolution was approved - a declaration calling for concerted global
action on climate change ahead of a major United Nations conference on
the subject scheduled for December in Copenhagen.
The ministers used waterproof markers to sign the document, printed on a white board.
President Nasheed, surfacing to speak with reporters, said he hopes his unusual Cabinet meeting will prompt global action.
want to see that everyone else is also occupied as much as we are [with
climate change] and would like to see that people actually do something
about it," he said. "If Maldives cannot be saved today we do not feel
that there is not much of a chance for the rest of the world."
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Maldives consists of nearly 1,200 coral islands. The land surface pokes
just a couple of meters on average above sea level, making it the
lowest-lying nation in the world.
It is feared that rising sea levels could submerge the country this century.
Nasheed has previously announced plans to buy a new homeland for his
country's 350,000 citizens if the Maldives does eventually disappear
below the waves.