Maldives cabinet sends climate SOS

Officals hold meeting underwater to warn about the danger of rising sea levels.

    If environmental predictions are correct, there may not be a Maldives in a hundred years time [AFP] 

    in depth
      Haitians face climate despair
      India's disappearing coastline
      Kenya drought 'has spared no one'
      The 'ground zero' of climate change
      Central Asian lake under threat
    "If global warming continues as predicted, 600 of these islands will disappear and many of those that remain will be uninhabitable. This is why they are making this publicity statement", Cole said.

    Ministers used white boards to communicate under water.

    "But the real message they want to communicate is that the world must reduce emmissions or else the nation will disappear", Cole noted.

    Sitting round a horseshoe-shaped table, all but three of the 14-member cabinet took part in the meeting.

    The Divers Association of Maldives (DAM) said the ministers trained over the past two months for the dive.

    Event organisers said the ministers had signed their wetsuits and would be auctioning them on the protectmaldives.com website to raise money for coral reef protection in the atoll-chain.

    IPCC warning

    The Maldives, located southwest of Sri Lanka, has become a vocal campaigner in the battle to halt rising sea levels.
      
    In 2007, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that a rise in sea levels of 18 to 59 centimetres by 2100 would be enough to make the country virtually uninhabitable.

    More than 80 per cent of the country's land, composed of coral  islands scattered some 850km across the equator, is less than one metre above sea level.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.