27 June – This first national workshop was organised by the Government of Maldives, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The forum was held at Bandos Island Resort, and aimed to strengthen partnerships to promote adaptation to climate change in the tourism sector and dependent communities. A representative from our Marine Discovery Centre at Kuda Huraa was able to attend.

The day began with a brief introduction about the objectives of the workshop, followed by an introductory talk by Maldivian President Dr Mohamed Waheed. Severe storms, including damaging winds and sea surges that lead to flooding, pose serious challenges for the Maldivian environment in the near term. Whilst in the longer term, there are threats from climate change and the associated rising sea levels.

Presentations and participatory workshops later in the day focused particularly on tourism-related waste management, with topics including –
– Water and wastewater services
– Clean and efficient energy production
– Composting and incineration; glass grinders and plastic compactors
– Government environmental regulations and strategies
– Local communities, private sector services and affordability
– Conservation of the Maldivian ‘wetlands’, freshwater lakes and mangrove areas
– Thilafushi ‘garbage island’ (68% of the 101 Maldivian resorts use Thilafushi as their main solid waste disposal site, with 96 boat visits every week)

Picture gallery of the event here at local newspaper Haveeru.

Increasing Climate Change Resilience of Maldives through Adaptation in the Tourism Sector