Climate Change and Development Context
The Republic of Maldives comprises of 1,192 small, low-lying coral islands in the Indian Ocean and are most vulnerable impacts of climate change including beach erosion, and damage to coral reefs and coastal fisheries. It is expected that even a 1 meter rise in sea level would cause the loss of the entire land area of Maldives. Rising sea levels also threaten scarce fresh water resources of the Maldives and salt water intrusion into the islands is already a problem. In 2009, total CO2 emissions in the Maldives were 1.3 million tonnes CO2e which was only 0.003% of global emissions.
Key National Institutions, Policies and Initiatives
Key institutions: The Ministry of Energy and Environment has the mandate to develop and implement policies on climate change, energy, and sustainable development.
Policies and initiatives: Adaptation to climate change is a priority of the Government of Maldives. The first National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) released in 2006 identified 12 adaptation projects for improving climate resilience of infrastructure, tourism, fisheries, health, water resources, agriculture, and coral reef biodiversity. In 2011, the Government of Maldives endorsed the world’s first Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) that integrated Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). The National Framework for Development 2009-2013 also recognizes the need to (1) provide reliable affordable and sustainable energy supply to all citizens, (2) promote renewable energy technology applications, energy efficiency and energy conservation and increase energy security, and (3) reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In 2009, the Government of Maldives announced its vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2020 while (1) shifting way from diesel as the primary fuel for electricity generation, and (2) acquiring necessary technical and institutional capacity in renewable energy technologies. In September 2012, the Maldives Climate Change Trust Fund was launched by the World Bank and European Union to ‘’build a climate-resilient economy and society in Maldives through adaptation to climate change and mitigation for a carbon-neutral development path’’. The Clean Energy for climate change mitigation project supported by the fund is aimed at introducing innovative mechanisms for providing 300 MWh of renewable energy through grid-connected solar PV systems and energy efficiency measures on Thinadhoo island of the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. The project is also a part of USD 30 million World Bank-ADB Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP). The trust fund also supports a waste management project and a wetlands conservation and coral reef monitoring adaptation project. In June 2013, Japan and Maldives entered into a Low-Carbon Growth partnership for promoting the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). Solid Waste Management Regulation 2010, is aimed at minimizing impact of waste on the environment and establishing an integrated framework for minimizing waste generation and sustainable management of waste.
The Government of Maldives and UNDP, with the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) assistance through Global Environment Facility (GEF), is implementing a project on “Integrating Climate Change Risks into Resilience Islands Planning” (ICCR) to systematically assess the costs and benefits of different adaptation options in the fields of land use planning and coastal protection, and to develop the necessary institutional and individual capacity to enable decentralized and well informed decision making.
In addition, the Government of Maldives and USAID are working together on a program to increase the adaptive capacity and environmental security of the Maldivian people. The program is implementing a project aimed at enhancing climate resiliency and water security.
World Bank- http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL (accessed on November 21 2013)
World Bank- http://data.worldbank.org/country/maldives (accessed on November 21 2013)
World Bank http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/07/25/000333037_20120725003829/Rendered/PDF/668960REVISED00Disclosure0REV07024.pdf (accessed on November 21 2013)
Initial National Communication of Maldives- http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/maldnc1.pdf (accessed on November 21 2013)
UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)'s PreventionWeb – http://www.preventionweb.net/files/25721_maldives.pdf (accessed on November 21 2013)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction- http://www.unisdr.org/archive/20500 (accessed on November 21 2013)
Global Climate Change Alliance- http://www.gcca.eu/national-programmes/asia/gcca-maldives (accessed on November 21 2013)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – http://epa.gov.mv/images/stories/publications/waste/Regulatory%20framework%2028th%20December%202010.pdf (accessed on November 21 2013)
U.S. Agency for International Development – http://www.usaid.gov/maldives/environment-and-global-climate-change
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