MALE, Maldives (CU)_ The Maldives and the United States of America have inked an in-kind grant agreement. The United States Agency for International Development (US-AID) and the Ministry of Environment Climate Change and Technology of the Maldives inked the agreement on Thursday. According to a joint media release published by the US Mission in the Maldives and the Environment Ministry, the deal is valued at USD 157,000, or roughly MVR 2,420,940.
This is the fourth grant deal inked by USAID in the Maldives this year, and its objective is to promote climate-resilient activities in the Maldives. This unique project will also enable the implementation of a multi-sectoral, integrated strategy for the protection and management of the Goidhoo mangrove and the Goidhoo Atoll reef system. In addition, the agreement would create an ecotourism model that delivers diverse socioeconomic advantages to local communities, driven by suitable public-private collaborations to promote the Goidhoo mangrove and atoll reef system as a model community for climate resilience.
According to Aminath Shauna, Minister of Environment, a new milestone has been attained in the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve. She stated that the focus is on the Goidhoo Atoll, which she described as containing important ecosystems. Expressing optimism over the agreement the Minister said: “We are proud to partner with US-AID in another project strengthening our partnerships and collaborative efforts towards climate change adaptation. We are conserving and protecting key ecosystems in the Maldives because our economy depends on the coral reef ecosystems, and we are moving towards exploring nature based recreational facilities in our beautiful mangroves, wetlands and seagrasses. The aesthetic value of the mangroves alone makes it a major tourist attraction for local and foreign tourists alike and will also provide business opportunities for tourist operators.”
Gabriel Grau, US-AID’s Mission Director to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, also addressed the event. She remarked that the grant agreement demonstrates US-AID’s dedication to the Maldives and its citizens and that US-AID plans to expedite the protection and management of nature-based ecosystems. “Conservation of mangroves and wetlands provides a diverse range of environmental services including support of biodiversity and protection against storm surges. US-AID will empower communities and enhance their resilience to climate change shocks and impacts, through an inclusive lens that leverages private sector investment,” Grau said.