Saturday, October 17, 2009
Maldives officials dive for climate change
GIRIFUSHI, Maldives (AP) -- The president of the Maldives says he's trying to make people realize his low-lying island nation is a "frontline state" facing the threat of global warming.
To that end, President Mohammed Nasheed convened a Cabinet meeting today about 20 feet deep at the bottom of a lagoon.
The Maldives is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean made up of nearly 1,200 low-lying coral islands. They average 7 feet above sea level.
Many fear that climate change could cause sea level to rise and swamp the Maldives within a century.
Nasheed and 13 other officials donned scuba gear and used hand signals at a table on the sea floor. He says the stunt is an effort to draw attention to the serious consequences climate change could have for nations such as the Maldives.
The issue has taken on urgency ahead of a major U.N. climate change conference in December at which countries will negotiate a new international treaty.