US launches USD 10.5 million Climate Change Adaptation project in Maldives

Agreement signing ceremony for the USD 10.5 million Climate Change Adaptation project by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched on Tuesday, March 15.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Tuesday launched its Climate Change Adaptation project for Maldives, worth USD 10.5 million.

The grant is in line with the government’s Strategic Action Plan to create resilient communities through strengthening adaptation actions and opportunities, and building climate-resilient communities to address current, as well as future vulnerabilities.

Speaking about the five-year-long project, the Mission Director of USAID to Maldives Reed Aeschliman said the Climate Change Adaptation project directly responds to US and Maldivian calls to action to address the climate crisis.

“Through this program, we will support the government, private sector, and community efforts to adapt to climate change in ways that contribute to sustained, inclusive, and market-based growth in Maldives.”

Under the project, USAID will aid in identifying and scaling up innovative solutions for climate-related challenges and engage the private sector to invest in the adaptation activities.

Moreover, with local partners, the project will strengthen governance to address climate-related risks and improve access to information to shape decisions related to climate change. It will also work with key island community stakeholders to prioritize specific adaptation actions to address climate risks.

Additionally, it will focus on increasing adaptive capacities in fisheries and tourism – two sectors that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Aminath Shauna who also spoke about the project said that it was important to use a multi-sectoral, holistic approach to address climate change in a country as vulnerable as Maldives.

“The critical work being done by the government and international partners must be supplemented by the private sector so that local communities can experience such benefits and better adapt to and increase resilience to adverse climate change impacts.”

She went on to say, "Despite contributing least to global warming, the Small Island States such as the Maldives are being impacted first and most severely by the climate crisis”