Sunday, October 18, 2009

Underwater Declaration

Maldivian Cabinet members donned scuba gear and used hand signals yesterday at an underwater meeting staged to highlight the threat of global warming to the lowest-lying nation on earth – its 1,192 islands average just 7 feet (2.1 meters) above sea level. Maldives is grappling with the very likely possibility that it will go under water if the current pace of climate change keeps raising sea levels.

President Mohammed Nasheed and 13 other government officials submerged and took their places on the sea floor – 20 feet (6 meters) below the surface of a lagoon off Girifushi – to ink a document calling on all countries to cut their carbon dioxide emissions. “What we are trying to make people realize is that the Maldives is a frontline state. This is not merely an issue for the Maldives but for the world,” Nasheed had said (New Sunday Times, October 18, 2009 p 39).

An excellent publicity initiative to gather international attention on this issue of climate change and rising sea levels.

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