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5/13/2009

Disaster looming on rising sea levels

MANADO--Rising sea levels that could wipe whole nations off the map and displace scores of millions of people are being overlooked in global climate change talks, island countries said Tuesday.

Major emitters are pushing for greenhouse gas emissions cuts that are too low to prevent devastating sea rises, representatives said at the World Ocean Conference in Indonesia's Manado city.

"Dealing with environmental refugees will have a much more serious impact on the global economy and global security in fact than what wars have ever done to this planet," said Rolph Payet, a presidential adviser from the African island nation of the Seychelles.

Other nations under threat from even small rises in sea levels include the Pacific island states of Kiribati and Tuvalu, while heavily populated low-lying areas such as Bangladesh's coastline would also go under.

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