Maldives, World Bank, EU and Australia Launch Climate Change Partnership

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The FINANCIAL — With the aim of building a climate resilient economy in the Maldives, the Government of Maldives together with the World Bank, European Union and the Government of Australia on October 6 announced they have launched a climate change adaptation and mitigation partnership. This initiative will work across sectors and institutions to plan and manage the natural environment focusing on the Addu and Gnaviyani Atolls.

Kseniya Lvovsky, World Bank Practice Manager for Environmental and Natural Resources, said the Climate Change Adaptation Programme (CCAP) is a firm signal of the continued partnership between the Government of Maldives, the EU donors, and the World Bank on one of the Maldives’ most pressing development challenges: the impacts of climate change.

“We are pleased to see this project take off with participation of the various stakeholder departments in the Government of Maldives,” said Lvovsky, expressing the partners’ anticipation to closely work with the government counterparts on a successful implementation of this important initiative building on the lessons of the first phase.

The proposed project will be implemented under the multi-donor Maldives Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) that was established in 2009. The key project beneficiaries are the local communities in the Addu and Gnaviyani atolls, selected private resorts, and island/atoll councils. Through interventions in wetland management and solid waste management in the Addu and Gnaviyani atolls, the project will benefit more than 4,000 households through enhanced tourism, livelihood opportunities, and ecosystem conservation, accoridng to the World Bank.

In the Maldives, biodiversity-based sectors contribute to 89 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 98 percent of exports and 71 percent of employment. Agriculture and fisheries that are both dependent on the country’s unique natural resources account for 3.4 percent of the GDP and 10.6 percent of employment. Nature-based tourism is the main driver of economic growth, accounting for around 18 percent of the country’s GDP. Wetland conservation, coral reef protection and solid waste management are critically important for the Maldives to adapt to climate change.

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A sound policy framework is in place for wetlands conservation, coral reef protection and solid waste management in the Maldives. Nevertheless, the escalating environmental pressures exceed the country’s ability to manage its environment and adapt to climate change. This has resulted in an urgent need to build environmental management capacity at the national, atoll and island levels.

His Excellency, Ambassador David Daly the European Union’s Ambassador to Maldives, stated, “The CCTF demonstrates how the European Union and the Maldives continue to strengthen cooperation on climate change in the run up to the adoption of a new global climate deal in Paris this December”. The Paris conference will be a historic opportunity to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon, climate-resilient global economy. “The CCTF is an apt example of the shared but differentiated responsibility each country has in facing up to this huge challenge for mankind” Concluded the Ambassador.

Gaurav D. Joshi, Task Team Leader for the CCAP, complimented the Government of Maldives on the successful launch of the CCAP. “We at the World Bank stand ready to assist the Government of Maldives in bringing global expertise to help address the challenges of climate change” said Joshi, expressing his eagerness to collaborate with all partners and work closely with the Project M,anagement Unit of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Government of Maldives to achieve project results.  

 

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