President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has this afternoon visited and met with the team of scientists from the Blue Prosperity Coalition involved in the ‘Maldives Expedition.’ President Solih visited the vessel as part of his ongoing visit to Neykurendhoo Island of Haa Dhaalu Atoll.
The expedition is a part of the ground-breaking scientific research initiated in partnership with the Government of Maldives and Blue Prosperity Coalition—a coalition of organisations working to support marine spatial planning, marine protection and blue economies.
During the meeting with the scientists and researchers, President Solih inquired about the different technical aspects of their work, and actively joined a coral reef monitoring session with the researchers.
The expedition comprises of scientists and researchers from the Maldives Marine Research Institute (MMRI), Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Marine Resources, Maldives Coral Reef Institute, and Blue Prosperity Coalition partners; the Waitt Institute, National Geographic Pristine Seas, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Nekton.
The Maldives partnered with Blue Prosperity Coalition on the side-lines of President Solih’s visit to the United States last year to address the United Nations General Assembly. The agreement will see the development and implementation of a five-year programme to protect and preserve the Maldives’ maritime environment and resources, and ensure future growth is in harmony with the ocean’s well-being.
The objectives of the partnership also include the advancing of ocean science and stewardship through research, education, capacity building and outreach, and collaborating with local scientists and civil society.
Scientific and research data collected through the expedition will be utilised to develop and implement a Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone-wide Marine Spatial Plan (MSP)—an approach that uses spatial information about natural resources and human uses to establish a comprehensive management system.
It will further support the Blue Economy initiative, promoting the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improving livelihoods and ocean ecosystem health. The data would also assist in sustainable fisheries management, ensuring healthy fish populations habitats while ensuring communities dependent on fisheries can maintain their livelihoods. It would also see the designation and implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) which prohibit extractive uses, conserve reef resources, and restore overexploited stocks and degraded areas.