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Country of the Month: Maldives

Country of the Month, Maldives

Capital: Malé
Major Industries: Tourism & Fishing
Population: Approx. 350,000
Total Islands: 1,192
Official Language: Dhivehi
Government: Republic of Maldives
Currency: Rufiyaa (USD $1 = MRF 15.42)

Maldives in the News

Copenhagen Climate Change conference: Maldives threatened by rising sea levels and acidification. If predictions by the International Panel on Climate Change are correct, most of the country's 1,192 islands will be submerged by the end of the century. Glaciers and polar ice sheets will melt as temperatures increase, with some scientists predicting that sea levels could rise by four feet (1.4m) by 2100. The consequences for low-lying areas such as Bangladesh and the Maldives would be catastrophic – tens of millions of people would be displaced. Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives, announced his country would begin to set aside a portion of its billion-dollar annual tourist revenue to buy a new homeland because rising seas were threatening to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees.

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