South Asia

Published: Thursday 15 October 2009

green tax: The Maldives said it would impose a green tax on tourists to pay for environmental protection of the low-lying archipelago and also revive the it's economy. The country is threatened by rising sea levels blamed on global warming. The new tax of US $3 is expected to yield US $21 million a year. President Mohamed Nasheed said the amount is unlikely to put off tourists. Tourism is the economic lifeline of the Maldives, famous for atolls, lagoons and tropical marine life.

In the past four years, the country with the heighest per capita gdp in South Asia, has spent a lot of money on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. It plans to become the world's first carbon-neutral country in a decade. The global economic recession has severely affected it following a drop in the number of tourists.In August, Nasheed said he would not attend the Copenhagen climate talks in December due to a funds crunch. Denmark has offered him free travel.

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