Members of the Maldives' Cabinet donned scuba gear and used hand signals today 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.
"What we are trying to make people realize is that the Maldives is a frontline state," said Nasheed. "This is not merely an issue for the Maldives but for the world." He and others fear the island could be swamped by rising sea levels within a century. As bubbles floated up from their face masks, the officials signed a document calling on all countries to cut their carbon dioxide emissions.