Atoll ecosystems, coral reefs, islands, lagoons and diverse aquatic species are considered to be 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. These ecosystems are under increasing threat from human and climate change impacts. The Government of Maldives is undertaking a national effort to establish more marine protected areas and enact and implement sustainable coastal fisheries regulations.
USAID helps the Government of Maldives achieve its conservation goals and enhance the country’s resilience to the adverse effects of climate change by strengthening the sustainable management of coastal resources, particularly coral reefs. USAID support includes mapping coral reefs, developing a system that monitors the protection of coral reefs and educating Maldivians on the urgency of protecting marine resources critical to economic growth. USAID also works with the tourism industry to foster an eco-friendly culture among visitors and residents alike - a culture that does not yet exist.
In addition, USAID is implementing a water security project on one of the largest and most populous islands, Hinnavaru, which includes providing a new potable water system to all 5,300 residents and building the capacity of utility operators to operate and maintain the system. USAID is also developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for residents to understand water resource management and help mitigate climate change challenges at the household and community levels.
Last updated: October 30, 2014