Atoll ecosystems, coral reefs, islands, lagoons and diverse aquatic species are the lifeline of Maldives. 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 improve the management of protected coastal and marine areas and sustainably manage the fisheries sector.
USAID helps the Government of Maldives achieve 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 coastal and marine resources, monitoring and developing tools for the government and resorts to inform their decision-making around resource management and the protection of coral reefs, and educating Maldivians on the importance of marine resource protection to economic growth.
USAID also works with residents to help them understand and adapt to climate change impacts on their natural environment, particularly the supply of clean water for drinking and domestic use. On Hinnavaru, one of the largest and most populous islands, USAID is providing a new potable water system that will serve all 5,300 residents. The new integrated water management system is partially powered by solar energy and harvests rainwater and desalinates water for human and household consumption. USAID also trains utility operators on how to effectively operate and maintain the system.
Last updated: August 26, 2016