The Maldives with more territorial sea than dry land depend on resources almost entirely from the sea. The coral reefs, which built the country, play a vital role in the economic and social well-being of the country. Today, we are exposed to the risks of intensifying weather events, and with future sea levels projected to increase in the range of 10 to 100 centimeters by the year 2100, the entire country could be submerged. Whilst many resorts across the industry have initiated its own coral regeneration programs and similar projects, our calls for help at many climates change conferences have not received adequate attention. What are your views on emphasizing for help from our visitors?

PUBLISHED December 09, 2021

Saazu Saeed
Vice President
Divers Association of Maldives
When developing Resorts and island harbors many of our coral reefs are being destroyed but the resort industry does coral restoration and replanting projects. But we don’t have enough time to regenerate an ecosystem but we can preserve the remaining ecosystem that store high amounts of carbon. We can change the methodology of coastal developments using the best science and technologies
Coral regeneration is old, it was tabled during the 70s. We only need to give a break stress free Maldives for the corals. Coral plantation is an impossible mission, reefs are large scale. We need more research on the damages? Just planting corals does not solve the problem.
Give message to the visitors and their countries to help lower carbon emissions and about other harmful human activities that lead to global warming.
Being the largest resource user in the country, the tourism industry must step up to ensure that their operations have a minimum impact on the environment. Tourists who visit the country can help to promote reef resilience by choosing operators that have high sustainability standards such as those protecting their carbon burying, island protecting seagrass meadows, managing their coral fisheries and not destroying the coral reefs during the development phase. Also, look out for social indicators such as Maldivian staff employment rate and community projects funded by the operator. The industry must also do better in ensuring that the Green Tax are utilized better- for conservation and livelihoods diversification projects.
Climate change is happening and we live its impacts daily. Coral restorations, and other things we do as a country is too small to reverse a global eco system that is disappearing faster than it can be restored naturally or artificially. Governments are unable to act and has no consensus or drive to take action. It is a waste of hope for any small country to wait for governments to keep to their commitments of global goals to reduce global warming and climate change. Maldives is a highly sought destination for the global traveller. All visitors to the Maldives are taken away by the beauty and yet does not have much of a connection or an understanding of the fragility nor the vulnerability of their dream destination or their countries or their carbon foot prints. These visitors also include a high number of very influential people, that can definitely communicate and address this in a way it can impact global change. Maldives needs to educate the visitors and each resort, each live-aboard and each guest house can become a place where the visitor can also understand the realities of the issue. The closer and personal it becomes, the easier and faster for someone to believe and act. We have to be the showcase for climate change impacts before the we disappear and becomes extinct.