Article published on the 2009-10-17 Latest update 2009-10-17 12:21 TU
Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed signs a declaration during the first underwater cabinet meeting in the Maldives
(Photo: Reuters/Government handout)
President Mohamed Nasheed declared after the meeting that there had been "less talk" than usual - participants communicated with hand signals - and that he had been able to get more work done.
A dozen of the country's 14 ministers donned scuba diving gear to descend into the deep. They held a 30-minute meeting which passed a resolution calling for global action to cut carbon emissions. The vote was unanimous.
Two ministers were advised not to attend for medical reasons. The others had taken diving lessons for the last two months and were accompanied by their trainers.
At the nationally televised meeting, the ministers signed the resolution on a white board using water-proof markers.
Nasheed afterwards called for the UN's climate change summit in Copenhagen in December to reach agreement on carbon emission reduction which "will ensure that everyone will survive".
In 2007, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the country is likely to be virtually uninhabitable by 2100. More than 80 per cent of the archipelago is less than a metre above sea level.
Officials announced that the ministers would sign their wetsuits and that they will be auctioned on a website, protectmaldives.com, to be set up this weekend.
2009-10-10 14:05 TU