At a glance
Maldives is an archipelago of some 26 low-lying coral atolls located in the Indian Ocean. More than 80% of the islands making up the Maldives are less than one meter above mean sea level. Climate change is a stark reality for Maldivian communities already experiencing water shortage, damage to homes and infrastructure, damage to food crops from saltwater intrusion and an increase in epidemic outbreaks of diseases such as dengue and chikungunya linked to climate-related hazards.
Stresses on coral reefs, which include an increase in sea surface temperature, are also a concern since Maldives economy (in particular fisheries and tourism) is heavily reliant on the proper functioning and survival of the coral reef system – which also provides a natural defence for the coastline. Climate change is not the only culprit for these problems; but it compounds and exacerbates vulnerabilities induced by multiple human pressures, including the lack of proper waste and sewage management systems, unsustainable development practices such as sand mining, dredging and reef entrance blasting, and the inappropriate design and construction of coastal infrastructure.Adaptation to climate change is a priority for the Government of Maldives. The first National Adaptation Plan of Action identifies several axes of intervention such as critical infrastructure, tourism, fisheries, health, water resources, agriculture and coral reef biodiversity. In this context, the GCCA contributes to a multi-donor Climate Change Trust Fund set up to finance adaptation and low-carbon technology initiatives. The latter will support energy security and help reduce the cost of importing fossil fuels.