European Commission, EuropeAid - Co-operation Office, SWITCH-Asia Programme
To protect the ecosystems of the Lakshadweep Sea, it is urgently required to halt plastics pollution in the Maldives.The coral atolls of the Maldives have highly biodiverse ecosystems and unique natural features. In addition to their inherent value as natural capital, pristine nature is the main point of attraction for high-value tourists. Yet the atolls are now under threat by unsustainable consumption patterns and lack of effective waste management. Current practices also threaten the livelihoods of local fishermen. Both tourists and the tourism sector are among the strongest drivers of plastics use. The assignment sought to address the overall conditions in the context of tourism in the Maldives.
An important target group are governmental institutions (ministries, executive agencies and local authorities), which are responsible for setting framework conditions to curb marine littering. Local stakeholders have repeatedly reported a need for capacity development amongst governmental institutions in order to increase their knowledge on waste minimisation options (e.g. based on extended producer responsibility (EPR) and polluter pays principle (PPP)) and implement waste management frameworks as effectively as possible. At the central level, targeted stakeholders include the Ministry of Environment (MoE), as well as its executive agency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the Republic of Maldives.
This project developed and piloted sustainable waste management policies and tools for plastics in the tourism sector which are in line with SCP and circular economy policies in the Maldivian context through minimization, prevention and resource efficiency. The specific objectives of this assignmetn were:
Fact-base created on the current status, gaps, constraints and opportunities for SUP plastics and SCP;
Strengthened linkages between stakeholders;
Improved knowledge base of government institutions on economic and policy instruments; experience built through pilot preparation in the tourism sector;
Enhanced understanding of Maldivian government on status, good practices and recommendations on SUP handling; recommendations are integrated into the national policy-making process regulating plastics use.