Maldives Cabinet meeting - Government Underwater - Literally!

Cabinet officials from the government of the Maldives are taking very unusual action to help combat climate change. On October 24, all 14 cabinet members will assemble UNDERWATER to conduct their business.

According to wire service reports, it will be an actual, official session of the government, but it will be underwater.

Cabinet officials will be outfitted in scuba gear and communicate by whiteboards and hand signals. The 14 cabinet members will approve a statement "from Maldivian citizens" that will be presented at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen to be held December 7-18.

"The purpose of the underwater cabinet meeting is to show commitment from the highest political level to the Global Day of Climate Action," Deputy Undersecretary Aminath Shauna said.

Some ministers were new to diving and are taking scuba training to attend the unique underwater meeting.

Maldives comprises 1,192 coral islets that lie on average just 1.5 metres (4.8 feet) above sea level. The danger from rising sealevels is so acute that the Maldives has even been thinking aloud about buying a "homeland" in Australia or in neighbouring India or Sri Lanka for its 330,000 people.

"Climate change is no joke for us: rising and warming seas pose an existential threat to the Maldives," Shauna said. "We hope climate demonstrations around the world on October 24 will pressure world leaders to seal an ambitious deal."

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