Maldives Cabinet's underwater meet

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Maldives Cabinet's underwater meet

Maldivian Cabinet Members dive in training for an underwater meeting in Male, Maldives. (AP Photo)

Maldives:  Maldives government ministers are preparing for an unprecedented Cabinet meeting of a different kind - by taking scuba lessons.

The ministers are also learning underwater signs to prepare for the meeting at the bottom of the ocean aimed at highlighting the threat of global warming.

Since taking office last year, President Mohammed Nasheed has emerged as an important international voice on the impact of climate change amid fears that rising ocean levels could flood this low-lying nation within a century.

Nasheed, a certified diver, will chair the meeting about 20 feet under water on October 17.

At the meeting, the Cabinet plans to sign a document calling on all countries to cut down their carbon emissions ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, where the countries will negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, an official from the president's office said.

Wealthy nations want broad cuts in emissions from all countries, while poorer ones say industrialised countries should carry most of the burden.

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