Former President Mohamed Nasheed has said that the Maldives Coral Institute will begin its first projects by the end of this year, to make corals more resistant to the effects of climate change.
Nasheed, parliament speaker and founder of the institute, said this at the International Conference on Software, Knowledge, Information Management and Applications (SKIMA 2019) held at the Ukulhas Tech Fair.
Speaking at the event, Nasheed said they have funding in place and are in the first six to nine months of setting up the institute, adding that they will form an advisory board with the world’s best coral scientists.
He said they hope to collaborate with resorts, the government private sector, and civil society, and in the long-term establish a world class institute running cutting edge scientific projects and strengthening coral reefs over the country.
“We will focus on two work streams. The first work stream involves using science to help grow corals that can survive climate change. Our scientists will choose which experiments to run. But some of the most exciting coral science around is assisted evolution. It is a way to make corals stronger through scientific approaches such as assisted gene flow and stress conditioning. The second work stream involves design and engineering, rather than luck-based experiments.”
~ Nasheed, founder of Maldives Coral Institute
Nasheed said they have a clear understanding of the threats that coral reefs face over the coming decades and what the Maldives coral institute’s mission is and that the coral institute will use the latest technology to help Maldives’ corals survive climate change and create designs for coral friendly infrastructure such as harbors and airports.
He said that the institute believes that there should be an emergency response to fund science to save the coral reefs, since existing coral research is limited and fragmented. He added the institute intends to bring together the leading coral scientists and task them with helping coral reefs survive climate change.