The environment ministry yesterday launched a US$4.2 million Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP) to establish “eco-tourism facilities” to manage protected mangroves and coral reefs in southern Fuvahmulah and Addu City.
The three-year project was undertaken with assistance from the the World Bank, European Union (EU), and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) under the umbrella of the Maldives Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF), the environment ministry said.
The environment ministry will partner with tourist resorts and dive schools in the two southernmost atolls to implement the project, which involves development of infrastructure for eco-tourism facilities in the protected wetland areas.
The eco-tourism facilities would “ensure that their protection provides economic benefit to the communities in these regions,” the ministry said.
“The project would also implement measures for waste management in the protected [areas],” it added.
“The project will enable the local governments and communities to implement a clear strategy for wetland management, coral reef monitoring and waste management through tangible pilot projects designed to improve adaptive capacity and climate resilience in the targeted sectors of the project.”
Thoriq Ibrahim, minister of environment and energy, launched the project at a ceremony held at the Hotel Jen yesterday. EU Ambassador David Martin Daly and Kseniya Lvovsky, the World Bank’s practice manager of environment and natural resources for South Asia, attended the function.
Speaking at the ceremony, Thoriq reportedly said that establishing a mechanism for managing and reaping economic benefits from the wetland areas would serve the purpose of environmental protection.
He noted that the project is the first of its kind in inhabited islands.