Due to a lack of integrated solid waste management systems at both regional and national level, current waste disposal methods are causing severe environmental degradation to Maldivian coastal areas. Similar to other countries, a large portion of the waste that washes up on Maldivian beaches are believed to be a result of poor land based waste management. However, not all coastal waste found in Maldivian beaches originates from Maldives islands and there are significant amounts originating from other countries in the region as well.
The International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD) marked on 21st September, is one of the world's largest annual preservation and protection events and volunteer efforts for oceans, waves and beaches. As a Small Island Developing State, the Maldives’ reliance on beaches and coastal areas for both survival and economic growth make the meaningful celebration of this day very relevant to the country.
UNDP Maldives in collaboration with European Union, Environment Protection Agency, Housing Development Corporation and WAMCO organized a Coastal Clean-Up Event which commenced on the morning of 16 November 2019. Participants from various organizations and schools along with individual volunteers joined in making the event a huge success.
As per the waste audit which followed the clean-up, a total of 4574 plastic bottles were collected within just 2 hours along with 10.83 kg of glass, 20.65 kg of Aluminum & 538.61 kg of other residues. These figures are not just mere numbers but are a threat for the oceans, wildlife and us.
It is time to rethink our actions and make way for positive change and responsible action.