Sunday, June 30, 2013

Joining a national climate change adaptation workshop


Last Thursday, on 27th of June our marine biologist joined the first national UNDP Workshop on Building Partnership for Climate Change in Maldives.  This workshop was organised at Bandos Island Resort, and attended by government officials, policy makers, resort owners, managers, investors, island Councillors, engineers, marine biologists, architects, NGO’s and others. 

His Excellency, The President of The Maldives Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan gave an inspiring speech at the start of event, stressing the need to act in the face of Climate Change.

Maldives is a country that is particularly sensitive to Climate Change and projected sea level rise in this century (average elevation of the country is only ~1.5 m above the sea level). There is great concern that the Climate Change will also impact the Tourism industry, on which the country depends heavily. 

The main aim of this long term Partnership project is to providing guidance for the tourism industry towards a more Climate Change resilient operation.
In this first workshop findings of various studies related to climate change adaptation were presented and risks of Climate Change were prioritised. Topics discussed in the context of climate change:
·         Solid Waste management
·         Existing Laws and regulations
·         Water and Wastewater services
·         Wetland Conservation & Coral Reef Monitoring
·         Cleaner energy production in resorts and hotels
·         Climate Risk Financing models
·         Climate change adaptation platform
·         Partnering for Development Initiative 

Later the participants worked in groups to generate ideas for pilot projects that would promote adaptation to Climate Change in tourism sector and dependent local communities. 

The workshop yielded great ideas, there was a lot of agreement between the variety of parties involved. Hopefully this will drive the project, and the whole of the Maldives tourism forward, towards a better future.