Imagine interrupting a Cabinet Meeting while diving in the Maldives. Well, if you happen to be diving the coral gardens near the island of Girifushi on 17 Oct, you will see a strange sight: 14 Cabinet Ministers wearing scuba gear, flourishing white boards and conducting the 1st ever official session of government 6m under the sea.
“The purpose of the underwater cabinet meeting is to show commitment from the highest political level to the 350.org Global Day of Climate Action,” said the Deputy Undersecretary Aminath Shauna.
Many a sea creature, pelagic and curious cephalopod will be wondering what all the fuss is about, when the Ministers get down to the business of signing an official statement “from Maldivian citizens” in preparation for the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, scheduled for 7 – 18 Dec 09:
“We call upon all citizens from all countries, big and small, rich and poor, high and low, to join hands and reduce carbon emissions and bring down the level of carbon in the atmosphere to below 350ppm”.
The Ministers have already enrolled in dive training to deal with the currents which can be strong in this area well known for spectacular drift diving. And learn to monitor their buoyancy to successfully hover over the soft corals of blue, orange and yellow that can be seen while diving the Maldives.
The Maldives archipelago made up of 1,192 coral islands, averages just 2.13m above sea level, with 80% of the atolls being less than 1m. If the sea level does rise by 18-59 cm as predicted by the UN to occur by 2100, then large areas of the Maldives will be swamped and many homes will be lost.
Which explains the urgency of President Mohammed Nasheed’s mission to make his country the world’s 1st carbon-neutral nation within the next 10 years.
Get in on the action to reduce carbon emissions by joining a campaign or planning your own on 24 Oct, the International Day of Climate Action.