Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Maldives president asks The Queen to stop islands sinking
Mohamed Nasheed, the president of Maldives, on Monday was scheduled to ask the help of Queen Elizabeth in combating the climate change and rising sea levels that threaten to submerge his island nation.
The president of the archipelago, who is on an official visit to the UK, said he would discuss the potential consequences of global warming on his country while at dinner with the Queen at Windsor Castle. He said he would seek advice from the monarch, as head of the Commonwealth, on a possible way out of the crisis.
"I will ask her for advice - about what she thinks and also how we may be able to organise ourselves," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"I'm sure her majesty would be very aware of the predicament that low-lying Commonwealth countries like the Maldives would be facing," he said. "In the past she has always responded very affectionately towards the Maldives and I'm sure she would find appropriate measures and appropriate actions on these issues."
The Maldives, one of the lowest countries in the world, is likely to be severely affected by rising sea levels as ice caps melt. If predictions by the International Panel on Climate Change are correct, most of the country's 1,192 islands will be submerged by the end of the century.
Mr Nasheed is also due this week to talk to the Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and John Ashton, special adviser on Climate Change. The move comes amid climate change talks in Bonn in the run-up to the United Nations summit in Copenhagen in December which aims to forge a successor to the 1997 Kyoto protocol.
After being sworn in as president in November, Mr Nasheed said he would consider buying a new homeland to relocate his people in the face of the threat. And last month, he announced his country aimed to be the world's first carbon neutral country by switching to renewable energies as an example to other countries.