The highest point in the Maldives, located off the coast of southwestern India, is 2.4 metres above sea level. To stress how climate change will affect this nation of 200 inhabited islands and 400,000 people the government held a recent cabinet meeting underwater. In full scuba gear the ministers met for half an hour, long enough to sign a document calling for reduction in global carbon emissions. An oft-cited impact of climate change will be rising sea levels that threaten low-lying island nations scattered throughout the world’s oceans, particularly in the South Pacific. The Maldives and its brethren cannot control climates or their fates – that duty rests with the global community. While the underwater photo op was meant to draw attention to their plight the hard work comes at the UN Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen this December. The Maldives hope the action of the delegates will save their nation – only time can tell.
Read Maldives cabinet makes a splash on the BBC website
Read Manzo (2009) Imaging vulnerability: the iconography of climate change Area