TOURISM ADAPTATION PROJECT: Increasing climate change resilience of Maldives through adaptation in the tourism sector

Background

Tourism is the dominant sector of the Maldivian economy, and its operations are intimately connected to a diverse range of value chains which provide goods and services related to agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, construction, energy, water and waste management. Climate change undermines the resilience, viability and profitability of these value chains both directly and indirectly.

The Increasing Climate Change Resilience of Maldives through Adaptation in the Tourism Sector Project (TAP) addressed key infrastructure issues in the country and aimed at formulating essential policies, standards, codes and regulatory guidance that would facilitate necessary investments to increase the resilience of the tourist infrastructure to climate change. The Project was innovative given that it was a first intervention for the country embarking upon dealing with climate change adaptation of its most important productive sector. The general aim of TAP was to integrate climate change adaptation into policy and planning instruments.

With support from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the TAP project aimed to establish public/private investment partnerships between the Government of Maldives and tourism resorts to showcase the economic and environmental benefits of no-regrets adaptation in tourism operations.

In addition, community-based adaptation projects in tourism-associated communities aimed to demonstrate how tourism operators and tourism-dependent communities can cooperate on joint initiatives to reduce common vulnerabilities.

 

Our Work and Results

In terms of expected results, the overall objective of TAP was to increase adaptive capacity of the tourism sector in Maldives to respond to the impacts of climate change and invest in appropriate adaptation measures.

 

·        TAP has been successful, at the national level, in developing baseline studies and reports that can potentially influence policy in climate change adaptation for the economically important tourism sector in the Maldives. Some of these reports include:

-      The “Adaptation Capacity and Climate Change Vulnerability Impacts in the Tourism Sector” of the Maldives, which highlighted the main vulnerable areas such as flooding and erosion, and adaptation capacities of the tourism operators and dependent communities to address these vulnerabilities.

-      An assessment on freshwater and waste water management in the tourism industry, which provided guidelines on how to climate proof water resources as an adaptation strategy.

-      An assessment on the waste management practices in the tourism sector to identify the climate change vulnerabilities of waste management in the sector.

-      Strategic Plans and Standards for Marina Development in Maldives, with the incorporation of CCA Measures.

-      Reports on economic valuation of climate risks in the tourism industry of Maldives and its depended communities, development of addendum to national building code in reference to infrastructure in resorts and revision of existing laws and regulations to incentivise private sector investment in climate change adaptation.

 

·        The project supported the development of the environment section of the 4th Tourism Master Plan.

 

·        As a result of the small grants component of the project, several communities have planned and implemented concrete environmental sustainability projects, many of them related to reducing their vulnerability to climate adverse effects.

 

·        Government representatives and tourism operators participated in workshops dealing with the financing options for weatherproofing tourism operations in the Maldives, based on reports that were produced within this expected outcome.

 

·        The project raised awareness among representatives in Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Environment and Energy, as well as representatives of different tourist facility groups, on climate risk financing and financial transfer mechanisms.

 

·        The Ministry of Tourism introduced the Maldives Tourism Green Award, with support from the TAP.

A package of investment facilitation booklets was developed on six different topics, for distribution at international trade fairs and other avenues where potential investors will attend.

Funding



YEARS 2011-2016

Total US$ 3,300,876
DONOR
AMOUNT             
Global Environment Facility financing US$ 1,650,438                     
Co-financing (total): US$ 1,650,438
         -  Government (in-kind) US$ 1,630,438
         -  UNDP  US$ 20,000

Delivery

YEARS 2011-2016

Total US$ 2,914,809 (88.3%)
DONOR
AMOUNT             
Global Environment Facility financing US$ 1,590,471 (96.4%)                     
Co-financing (total): US$ 1,324,338 (80.2%)
         -  Government (in-kind) US$ 1,312,106 (80.5%)
         -  UNDP  US$ 12,232 (61.2%)

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