The Republic of Maldives is known for its rich marine environment, home to habitats including mangrove, seagrasses and coral reefs. These habitats are integral to Maldives’ two major industries of fisheries and tourism, and provide food security, employment, foreign income, and recreation.
The Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP) has been invited to collaborate with the Government of Maldives to explore opportunities to support effective management of their marine environment. The partnership is providing demand-led technical assistance around two key themes: marine biodiversity and marine pollution.
The focus of the marine biodiversity theme is to provide support for the Maldives Marine Protected Area (MPA) network, with an emphasis on improving governance and stewardship, and alleviating poverty through supporting jobs in sustainable tourism.
- Maldives OCPP Work Areas
Working in partnership with the Government of Maldives, the OCPP are supporting the delivery of activities to assist sustainable marine management in Maldives. To date, activities have focused on enhancing the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective Conservation-based Measures (OECMs). Details of activities will be listed below as they develop.
The OCPP work in the Maldives is being supported in the UK by experts from JNCC, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture (Cefas). If you have any questions about this work, please get in touch.
Maldives OCPP Work Areas
The below headings summarise some of the current and past work areas undertaken across the biodiversity theme of the OCPP in partnership with the Government of Maldives. Outputs from these work areas can be viewed in the Resources section.
Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME)
In 2021/2022 the OCPP collaborated with the Government of the Maldives to undertake a pilot study to assess the management effectiveness of three different types of marine sites in Maldives, including Hanifaru Area MPA, Kudahuvadhoo Kanduolhi grouper aggregation site and Angsana Velavaru resort house reef. The aim of this study was to increase understanding on how these sites function, determine how well they are being managed, highlight key success areas, and provide recommendations on how management could be improved.
The results for each assessment have been summarised in a final report entitled Report of Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluations for three sites in the Maldives. The report also provides a detailed step by step guide on the methodology used and recommendations to improve management effectiveness both for the individual sites assessed and for MPAs across the Maldives. Additional publications linked to this area of work can be found in the Resources section including a stakeholder survey report and leaflets summarising the findings for each marine site.
MPA Management Framework (including MPA Management Plans and Research & Monitoring Plans)
To support a coherently managed network of MPAs and OECMs across Maldives the OCPP is working with the Government of Maldives to make recommendations around the development of a national Marine Protected Area Management Framework.
The Management Framework will set out the context for MPAs and OECMs in Maldives and outline national approaches to management including key principles and tools to deliver effective management. Guidance on SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) Management Plans and Research and Monitoring Plans with complimentary templates will be developed under the Management Framework. Templates will be used to help develop Management Plans for a selected number of existing sites.
Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS)
The OCPP has supplied the Maldives Marine Research Institute (MMRI) with a set of six Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) to build the surveying capacity and expertise of the MMRI. Shortly after training was delivered in May 2022 the MMRI deployed the BRUVS as part of their National Reef Monitoring Programme. The OCPP will continue to support the MMRI through additional training around BRUV data analysis.
MPA Communications & Awareness Raising
The importance of MPAs and their role in protecting the marine environment of Maldives is not widely known amongst local communities. The OCPP is working with the Government of Maldives to develop communication materials to raise awareness of the role and benefits of MPAs and the different types of designation in Maldives. We are also supporting the development of a Protected Sites government website which will highlight all MPAs in the Maldives and provide access to associated management materials.
The Maldives lies near internationally busy shipping lanes making them vulnerable to ship related maritime pollution incidents. The OCPP will be working with relevant Ministries and Agencies in Maldives to support proactive emergency response (ER) work. Training will be given across different aspects of ER including oil spill modelling, post-spill monitoring, and oiled wildlife response. This will help to increase preparedness within the Maldives to better plan for, and respond to, such incidents.
Environmental Impact Assessments
We are supporting Maldives Government with strengthening their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes via knowledge exchange and sharing best practice and guidance used in the UK EIA process.
Published pieces of work associated with the listed activities undertaken through the OCPP-Maldives Government partnership can be found here and will be added throughout the programme.
- Report of Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluations for three sites in the Maldives (2023) – In 2021/22 the OCPP collaborated with the Government of Maldives and management authorities to complete Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) assessments for three different marine sites: a national MPA, a grouper aggregation site and a candidate Other Effective Area-based Measure (OECM). The three assessments provided valuable insights into the successes of the sites and highlighted recommendations to improve management effectiveness. The methodology used and results for each site are summarised in this report.
- Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluation results outreach leaflets (2023). Three leaflets have been created to provide a summary of the PAME results for each of the three sites assessed. The leaflets have been made available in English and Dhivehi and shared amongst the local communities of each site.
- Assessing the Management Effectiveness of three sites in the Maldives: Stakeholder Survey Results ( 2022) - Prior to the completion of the three PAME assessments stakeholders views were collected for each site via an online questionnaire. The results of the survey are summarised in this report.