6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where we are?

Environmental sustainability is one of the most fundamental problems in Maldives, challenging the basic right to life. Photo: UNDP Maldives 2010.

Environmental sustainability is one of the most fundamental problems in Maldives, challenging the basic right to life. The new Constitution mandates the protection of the environment as a key human right, while the Government recognizes environment and climate change as a crosscutting development theme, particularly given its pivotal role in the economy. It has given environmental issues top priority so that natural resources are used wisely and complex ecosystems are protected while promoting growth and development. 

Sustainable human development in Maldives is not possible without addressing the environmental challenges which face the country. Together with the Government, UNDP has helped mainstream principles of sustainable development into the nation policies and programs. UNDP support to improve the environmental standards in Maldives includes, among others, the development of a National Adaptation Plan of Action to address adverse effects of climate change. Other highlights include the promotion of renewable energy, developing a national solid waste management policy and biodiversity conservation in target areas.

Naturals disasters can significantly impact the prospect of achieving the MDGs – a fact underscored by the 2004 Tsunami. In support of the Government’s priorities, UNDP Maldives has developed and implemented key programmes on disaster risk reduction that include enhancing capacity for early warning, implementing Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM), and integration of disaster risk reduction in school curriculum and building codes.

UNDP's work in the Maldives

  • Of Tortoise and Men

    Of Tortoise and Men

    Due to their rapidly dwindling numbers, Maldives has declared the tortoise as endangered and as a protected speciesmore

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums