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Environment and Global Climate Change

Atoll ecosystems, coral reefs that surround bodies of water, are considered the lifeline of the country. Not only do they form a basis for Maldives' existence but they also provide shoreline protection and resources upon which the entire economy depends. The biodiversity of atoll ecosystems underpins at least 71 percent of national employment, 89 percent of gross domestic product and 98 percent of exports. However, these ecosystems are under increasing threat from human and climate change impacts. A crucial priority identified by the Government of the Republic of Maldives for climate change adaptation is maintaining and improving the health of their coral reef ecosystems in order to safeguard their access to natural resources, protect their coasts from erosion, and sustain their economy and communities.

USAID climate change programs in Maldives aim to increase the adaptive capacity and environmental security of the Maldivian people. In collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Maldives, USAID's climate change adaptation program is implementing a project aimed at enhancing climate resiliency and water security on the two largest and most populous islands outside of the capital, Male. Efforts include providing a new potable water system to all 5,000 residents on one of the islands. USAID is also assisting the government in strengthening the management of coastal resources — particularly coral reefs — by improving and integrating their information systems on coral reef ecosystem health and reef fish stocks. Through training programs and outreach interventions under both initiatives, USAID facilitates the participation of local communities, private sector, and atoll and island councils in resource management planning.

Last updated: June 30, 2014

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