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Maldives
Voluntary National Review 2017
Main Message of the Voluntary National Review for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals, 2017

Introduction

The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Maldives will be built upon the successes in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in the country. In this regard, the thematic focus of the current review will be on the substantive progress the country has made in the areas of health, education, gender, water and sanitation, energy, infrastructure, climate change and marine resources.

As a small island developing state, the Maldives faces significant economic, social and environmental challenges. These are exacerbated by the impacts from climate change and vulnerability to both internal and external shocks. In addition to this, the geographic insularity coupled with a dispersed population and high transaction costs results in limited potential for economies of scale. Despite these challenges, the country has made significant progress in areas of eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal education and health care and protecting terrestrial and marine biodiversity. However, additional efforts have to be made in other area such as empowering women, strengthening mechanisms of governance and justice, minimizing economic disparity and sustainable consumption and production in order to ensure that no one is left behind.

This review will attempt to voice out the challenges faced by a Small Island State such as the Maldives, and the efforts made towards overcoming these challenges through innovation, strategic long term policies and collaborative decision-making processes. Innovation and participation of various stakeholders is critical, especially given the ambitious nature of the 2030 Agenda and the need to prioritize our efforts in the implementation process. In this regard, support and assistance from national and international development partners is needed in terms of financing and resource mobilization that is required to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Current focus

The Maldives recognises the importance of stakeholder engagement and participation in the substantive realisation of SDGs. To this regard, emphasis has been made to create awareness and engage stakeholders throughout the SDGs process, including implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Focused awareness sessions are planned to be conducted for parliamentarians, local councils, and members of the judiciary, NGOs, students and the general public for the 3rd quarter of 2017. With the completion of stock taking of available data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), initiating the work of identifying national priorities is currently in progress. Identification of national priorities for the SDGs targets will be made through a process of consultations with implementing agencies as well as input from the civil society and the private sector. A Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) is scheduled for the third quarter of 2017, which will feed into the process of identifying of the national priorities. Corollary to this, the SDGs Division and NBS, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, is undertaking an exercise to identify data gaps, and mechanisms to address these. Development of a Monitoring Framework is planned for the 4th quarter of 2017. The framework will be developed to monitor and report the achievements of the SDGs targets in the implementation process. The development of this Framework will, however, require technical assistance and financial support.

Main Challenges

Long term strategic direction and focused policies will be fundamental to eliminate the duplication of work and in this manner, determine the success of budgeting and execution of sectoral programs towards the implementation of the SDGs.

The lack of technical expertise, particularly in terms of data collection and management, remains a major hurdle in the implementation of SDGs in the country. This is compounded by the lack of trained staff and necessary equipment for data collection and management.

Furthermore, enhanced collaboration across government agencies is required in order to effectively track and monitor progress on SDGs. In this regard, the integration of data systems and the institutionalisation of a coherent and holistic mechanism for periodic and regular data collection will be critical. In addition to this, there is a need to strengthen the administrative data that is already available at different sectors since these can be used for evidence based decision-making and avoid duplication of work and resources. One of the main challenges in this regard is attainment of funds that is required for the data collection process.

Means of implementation

The National Ministerial Coordination Committee, constituted of cabinet ministers, provides the overall policy guidance and political support towards the implementation of SDGs in the country. The Ministerial Committee is supported by a Technical Committee on SDGs, which brings together representatives from various government institutions and civil society. Together, the National Ministerial Coordination Committee and the Technical Committee ensures country ownership and broad based participation that will be critical for the successful implementation of SDGs. The SDGs Division at the Ministry of Environment and Energy functions as the nodal agency in coordinating work related to the implementation of SDGs and is tasked with the overall responsibility for monitoring and reporting on the implementation process.

The Sustainable Development Goals will be implemented in the Maldives by the agencies, civil society and independent institutions whose mandate aligns with the targets of the SDGs. The role of the monitoring and reporting body, then, will be to ensure that proper consultation has been carried out with all relevant stakeholders in the implementation process, given the integrated nature of the SDGs. It is also the role of the monitoring body to promote the mainstreaming of the SDGs into sectoral policies, plans and strategies and develop a review and follow-up mechanism to provide coherence between line agencies and ensure the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda in the implementation process.

Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals require strong coordination and cross sectoral collaboration between the government agencies, development partners, local governments, commitment by the private sector as well as the civil society. The implementation of the Agenda 2030 also require continued political support and commitment as well as broad based participation, as these will be critical to drive the national sustainable development agenda forward.
Focal point
Ms. Aishath Saadh
Deputy Director General
Ministry of Environment and Energy
Handhuvaree Hingun, 20392
Male, Maldives
Documents & Reports

National Reports
Report Topics covered Process
Strategic Economic Plan

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Maldives is listed as a partner or lead entity in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform
Avoid and Intercept ocean plastics by the fisheries industry of the Maldives

Waste management, especially management of plastic waste has become a huge problem for the Maldives. With islands scattered across 820 km from North to South, the logistics for transportation of waste and the lack of local recycling have been the biggest hurdle for management of plastics in the Maldives Plastic remain in the natural environment for hundreds of years and are finding their way into our oceans and beaches . Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture and Parley have been working together to address the issue of ocean plastics in the Maldives. One of the key goals of the commitment ...[more]

Partners
1. Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives (Government Organization) 2. Parley International (NGO)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Barbados Declaration - Voluntary Commitment by Maldives

1. Provide all citizens with access to reliable & sustainable energy services at lowest possible cost. 2. Achieve carbon neutrality in the energy sector by year 2020. 3. Promote energy conservation and energy efficiency. 4. Increase national energy security. 5. Promote renewable energy technologies. 6. Strengthen the institutional and legal framework of the energy sector

Partners
Maldives, in partnership with the Governments of Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom, and UNDP.
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Capacity development of SAS member countries for the preparaion of specific policies to implement goal 14

South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is an inter-governmental Organization, established in 1982 by Governments of the eight South Asian countries to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region. Countries, namely; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have ratified the articles of Association of SACEP. It is also registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations as Multilateral Organization in accordance with under the Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. SACEP has its hea...[more]

Partners
South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme - SACEP (IGO), Ministry of environment, Ministry of Shipping, Coast Guard, Navy, Disaster Management Ministry, Ministry of Fisheries of each member countries.
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)

The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and alleviat...[more]

Partners
111 Partners, 50 State and REIO, 16 IGO and 45 NGO partners (as of April 2016). Full list: http://ccacoalition.org/en/partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Consistent efforts towards moving the fisheries in Indian Ocean sustainable

Maldives officially became a contracting party of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission on 13 July 2011, even though Maldives have been previously unofficially participating in the processes of the RFMO by providing data and other necessary information for the management of tuna resources in the Indian Ocean. Since Maldives became a full member of IOTC, it has been at the forefront sustainability agenda in IOTC. So far, Maldives have submitted resolutions on the inclusion of precautionary approach, interim and target reference points for the management of stocks and harvest control rules for s...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (Government)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Engaging Parliamentarians as Advocates with civil society to progress SRHR and ICPD in the Pacific SIDS

AFPPD in partnership with IPPF and Pacific Parliaments has trialled a post election module in Building Capacity of Pacific Island Parliamentarians to Advocate for ICPD and SRHR in Tonga and Cook Islands Parliaments. We also provide opportunities to build advocacy and knowledge skills of parliamentarians, including processes to enable them to work with CSOs. This partnership is effective in enhancing social protection and inclusion, improving well being, and guaranteeing opportunities for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, by focusing parliamentarians on their roles within their national pa...[more]

Partners
IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) EASEOR Cook Islands Parliament, Tonga Parliament, Maldives Parliament, Kiribati Parliament, Australian and New Zealand Parliamentary Groups on Population and Development. UN partners - UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS, UN DESA
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Enhancing National Development through Environmentally Resilient Islands (ENDhERI)

The government of Maldives aims at increasing the science based knowledge of the coral reef ecosystems for informed decision making and for sustainable development. In this regard, it is important to understand the current status of the biodiversity of the country, not just on scientific terms, but also on economic and accounting terms. Hence, the Maldives is aiming to establish Natural Capital Accounts of its vast coral reef ecosystems and establish a natural history museum/ institute that will serve for the in-situ and ex-situ conservation and for the research and education. This will b...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Environment and Energy (Government) Global Environment Facility (Other relevant actor) UNEP (United Nations entity)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Expansion of sea cucumber grow-out operations to support coastal community livleihoods

A couple of years since the start of the sea cucumber fishery in the Maldives in mid-1980s, the fishery experienced a drastic decline. A fishery that exclusively targeted high-valued sea cucumber species changed quickly to include mid- and lower-valued varieties. The export-oriented sea cucumber trade generates close to USD 1 million annually. The fishery is usually carried out as a small-scale operation in rural island communities. The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, with assistance from the International Fund for Agricultural Development launched the Mariculture Enterprise Develo...[more]

Partners
Marine Research Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives (Government Organisation) Mariculture Enterprise Development Programme, International Fund for Agriculture Development (United Nations Entity)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Implementation of strengthened and coordinated Monitoring, Control and Surveillance scheme to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Indian Ocean is one of the major obstacle to the long-term sustainable management of tuna fisheries in the Maldives. It predominantly occurrs in the form of poaching at EEZ boundary line where IUU vessels speciously operating at proximate high sea. Given the highly migratory and straddling nature of tuna and tuna like fish stocks in the Indian Ocean, the need for a of coordinated effort at the global and regional level aiming at effective combat against IUU fishing is well recognized. Being on the receiving end of the social and e...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives (Government Organisation)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Integrated Water and Wastewater Resource Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS

Cabo Verde, Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius, São Tomé & Príncipe and Seychelles may seem like they have little in common, but as small islands, they face very similar challenges. The countries − located in the Atlantic and Indian oceans − all share problems relating to the scarcity and contamination of freshwater supplies; lack of solid waste management facilities, over-exploitation and poor management of groundwater resources; increasing pressure on agricultural production; and disappearing biodiversity. Therefore, the Global Environment Facility has funded a full-sized project to st...[more]

Partners
UNEP; UNDP; UNOPS; GEF; Governments of Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Cabo Verde
Sustainable Development Goals
Introduce legal framework to reduce plastic pollution

The Maldives has a high level of plastic bag consumption and plastic pollution of the marine environment. Import data show that in 2016 alone, the country had imported almost 40 million plastic bags. The current import levels of plastic bags result in high levels of littering and in an inefficient use of resources; and with over 99% of the country comprising of seas, plastic pollution poses an easy threat to the environment. Apart from the threats of plastic pollution; such as marine life mortality, fisheries and coastal area degradation and decreased beach value with subsequent negative i...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Environment and Energy
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Lighthouses Initiative

IRENA has developed the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative to support the strategic deployment of renewable energy in SIDS, to bring clarity to policy makers regarding the required steps, and to enable targeted action. As a joint effort of SIDS and development partners, this framework for action will assist in transforming SIDS energy systems through the establishment of the enabling conditions for a renewable energy-based future, by moving away from developing projects in isolation to a holistic approach that considers all relevant elements spanning from policy and market frameworks, through technol...[more]

Partners
Antigua and Barbuda, Mauritius, Bahamas, Nauru, Barbados, Palau, Cabo Verde, Samoa, Comoros, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cook Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Fiji, Seychelles, Grenada, Solomon Islands, Guyana, Tonga, Kiribati, Trinidad and Tobago, Maldives, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, ENEL, New Zealand, European Union, Norway, France, SE4ALL, Germany, Uni...[more]
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Male 3R Declaration of Private Tourist Resorts towards Sustainable Tourism and protection of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem

Objectives: to progressively practice and implement 3R and resource efficiency measures, but not limited to, in all aspects of Maldives tourism and related business operations to protect the precious marine environment and ecosystem towards the better health, economy and social well-being of the people of the Republic of Maldives. Implementation methodologies: 1. Develop and strengthen internal management system and policies towards efficient use of resources, water and energy and promote usage of all forms of renewable energy, including waste to energy in order to achieve waste preventi...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Environment and Energy (Government)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Mariculture development for bait resource sustainability

The three major tuna fisheries rely on the utilization of bait. The pole-and-line fishery for skipjack tuna and the hand-lining for yellowfin tuna use various types of live baits while the long-lining for large yellowfin tuna relies on frozen bait. An annual total of 68,000 tons of tuna are caught from the pole-and-line fishery using an estimated 6,800 tons of live bait caught from reef associated lagoons. In recent years, local tuna fishermen have been experiencing a general, usually seasonal, shortage in bait availability impacting their fishery. Fishermen reportedly have to travel long...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives (Government Organisation)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Marine cooperation in capacity building

To promote marine scientific cooperation with relevant government departments of small island developing countries and other state holders in the fields of marine environment and biodiversity protection, marine disaster prevention and mitigation, blue economy and other fields of common interests; To promote the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States by providing personnel training, technical assistant etc.

Partners
Relevant government departments of small island developing countries and other state holders, having signed MOU (interdepartmental) on Maritime Cooperation with Jamaica, Maldives and Mauritius.
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
National Adaptation Plan of Action

Maldives, in 2006, adopted its National Action Plan for Adaptation and a zero emissions plan; target of carbon neutrality by 2020. Source: This is the first National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) for the Maldives relating to the adaptation to adverse effects of climate change. Maldives is among the most vulnerable to climate change and non-action is not an option. Assessing the magnitude of climate hazards to Maldives has already begun. Although it is not possible to accurately predict climate change and its adverse effects at the local level, the first Climate Risk Profile (MEEW 200...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
National Sustainable Development Policy

The development of the Maldives National Sustainable Development strategy builds on the 7th National Development Plan (NDP), the 3rd Environmental Assessment and Vision 2020, especially in the wake of recovery efforts after the 2004 Tsunami. Source: UNEP Environment Assessment for Regional Resource Center in Asia and the Pacific In Maldives, there are 34 sustainable developement challenges including high population growth, harmonized tourism development and equiatable distribution of health services. The draft Maldives National Sustainable Developement Strategy defines the vision for sustaina...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Saafu Raajje - Clean Environmental Management

Objectives: Prevention of pollution from waste mismanagement and handling. Implementation methodologies: development of community based waste management system in all inhabited islands. The system includes a proper waste separation and storage facility, small scale recycling and necessary equipment for baling and crushing. Composting is a major component in the system so that use of chemical fertilizer for farming and gardening will be reduced. Besides the community based waste management system, the Government is also creating regional waste management facilities that enables to further t...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Environment and Energy (Government)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Sailing in Partnership: Peace Boat Collaboration with AOSIS

International NGO Peace Boat offers our current ship, the Ocean Dream, as an around-the-world venue for advocacy action on the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as it sails the world on our educational and advocacy voyages. In the future, we will offer our new vessel, the Ecoship, for AOSIS/SIDS-related activities and events. Planned to sail in 2020, the 2000 passenger capacity Ecoship combines radical energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy at an unprecedented level in maritime transport. It will be a flagship for climate action and for promoting th...[more]

Partners
Peace Boat Peace Boat Ecoship Project AOSIS Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Scaling up the Marine Conservation fund launched on October 2015-Improving marine scientific research and safeguarding marine resources of the Maldives through sustainable harvest

The Maldivian archipelago, comprised of approximately 1,200 islands surrounded by coral reefs, serves as an important habitat for a number of marine flora and fauna. The ocean has always been an integral part of the Maldives and its people. Both fisheries and tourism sectors, two main pillars of the countrys economy, rely heavily on utilizing marine resources. Coral reefs are the physical basis and the predominant ecosystem of the Maldives. Healthy coral reefs are fundamental for the sustainable development of the Maldives in terms of food security, island protection and a range of other im...[more]

Partners
Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives (Government Organisation) Marine Research Centre (Government)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Statements
19 Jul 2017
18 Jul 2017
17 Jul 2017
5 Jun 2017
20 Jun 2012
12 May 2008
3 Sep 2002