On the run-up to the UN Climate Treaty meet
to Copenhagen, as seen in the photograph, the Maldives Cabinet signed a Climate
Change Document 20 Feet Under Sea. The photo made headlines world over and
became a talking point at the Copenhagen meet.
Members of the Maldives’ Cabinet donned scuba
gear and used hand signals at an underwater meeting staged to highlight the
threat of global warming to the lowest-lying nation on earth.
President Mohammed Nasheed and 13 other
government officials submerged and took their seats at a table on the sea floor
— 20 feet below the surface of a lagoon off Girifushi, an island usually used
for military training.
With a backdrop of coral, the meeting was a
bid to draw attention to fears that rising sea levels caused by the melting of
polar ice caps could swamp this Indian Ocean archipelago within a century. Its
islands average 7 feet above sea level.
“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
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