A recently published review on the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Maldives was launched at a stakeholder workshop in Malé, Maldives, yesterday (Wednesday 25 January 2023).
The review has been carried out through a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment, Technology and Climate Change of the Government of Maldives and the Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP), part of the UK’s Blue Planet Fund. Through the OCPP, JNCC in partnership with Cefas and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), is providing demand-led technical assistance to support countries to establish designated, well-managed and enforced Marine Protected Areas.
The OCPP has been working in partnership with the Government of Maldives for the past 18 months, to explore opportunities to support effective management of the marine environment around the Maldives, which is home to a rich array of marine life and is essential to the main industries of tourism and fisheries. Marine Protected Areas have been proven to be a highly effective tool for protecting marine biodiversity, however, effective management is critical to their success.
Through the review, experts from JNCC and the MMO, in collaboration with the Government of Maldives, have worked closely with decision makers and stakeholders over the past year, collecting information and perspectives about three different MPAs, including how the sites currently work, how they are being managed, and key success areas. Recommendations on how the management of the sites could be improved have also been identified, including elements such as better communication between stakeholders, and the development of management and monitoring plans.
Reflecting on the launch of the published review, British High Commissioner to Maldives Caron Rohsler said:
"The UK’s Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP) has been working with the government and people of Maldives for 18 months now, and it's great to be publishing the results of their assessment of Marine Protected Areas today. I am very happy that we are able to work with Maldives to protect its unique biodiversity and ocean environment."
This week, staff from JNCC, MMO and Cefas have been in the Maldives, holding workshops with stakeholders on the delivery of the next steps of this work, including guidance to support the development of management and monitoring plans.
For more information about JNCC's work in the Maldives, visit our OCPP Maldives webpage. The published review – Report of Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluations for three sites in the Maldives – is available to download.
More information on the Ocean Country Partnership Programme is available on the gov.uk website.