Maldives is experiencing the risk of marine biodiversity loss at an unprecedented speed. We have a collective responsibility to protect this diversity and preserve this interdependent eco-system for future generations. So, sustainability is the priority for Maldives’ development. At the upcoming Maldives’ Partnership Forum in Malé on 17-18 June, ‘Blue Economy’ is at the heart of the government’s plan and discussions with development partners.
All the above are possible only if we, the people, understand, believe, and act on collective priorities. People believe and act, when they know they have ownership in policies, when they participate in their formulation.
When people have an opportunity to have their say and have their voices heard and acted upon, there is accountability, transparency, and it gives rise to effective governance with checks and balances and lays a solid foundation for sustainable development. This is the reason why Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—'peace, justice, and strong institutions’— is an enabler for all the other goals. In that sense, it is indispensable.
The journey of the Maldives is not a sprint, rather it is a marathon.It will require patience. And it’s not about ‘who’ leads, but about ‘what’ we, the people, do together to achieve a just and prosperous Maldives. A country which benefits not just the present generation, but which sustains benefits for generations to come.
* Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), May 6, 2019, Media release, https://www.ipbes.net/news/Media-Release-Global-Assessment, and Global Assessment Summary for Policy Makers, https://www.ipbes.net/sites/default/files/downloads/spm_unedited_advance_for_posting_htn.pdf