2020 United Nations Biodiversity Summit

Maldives takes climate commitments seriously, says president

  • President Solih made the statement during his remarks at the 2020 United Nations Biodiversity Summit, held virtually on Thursday
  • “Major determinant in climate health and earth’s well-being is human activity”
  • The president called on all to be more respectful towards nature

K. Male' 2020 Oct 01 | Thu 14:44 local 2,964

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at last year’s Blue Leaders Call to Action on Ocean and Climate conference - Presidents Office

Maldives takes its climate commitments seriously and will continue to engage with global partners to address the climate emergency, says President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

The president made the statement during his remarks at the 2020 United Nations Biodiversity Summit, held virtually on Thursday.

Noting that this is the “era of Anthropocene,” Solih stressed that the “major determinant in climate health and earth’s well-being is human activity.”

“It is up to us whether we harness our scientific knowledge and technology for destructive ends, which bring short-term profit, or if we use them to implement sustainable and restorative development strategies.”

~ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

Further highlighting that Maldives takes its climate commitments seriously, the president said that this is why he had presented Maldives’ Climate Resilient Island Initiative on the sidelines of the 74th General Assembly last year. He noted that this model can be used by other Small Island States “to develop sustainably, by conserving eco-rich areas, phasing-out single-use plastics, and rapidly transiting to renewable energy.”

He also shed light on the Maldives’ ongoing partnership with the Blue Prosperity Coalition, a global alliance of ocean experts dedicated to growing blue economies and preserving the ocean’s health. The Maldives has been working with the coalition to conduct scientific expeditions that will inform our blue economic policies and maritime spatial plans going forward, so that our development occurs without compromising our natural assets.

Furthermore, the president also stated that Maldives is deeply concerned by plastic pollution, especially in the ocean.

“At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, and make up 80 percent of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Through collective efforts to combat plastic pollution, the Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution will continue to work collectively to develop a strategy for global engagement at the United Nations Headquarters and raise awareness of marine plastic pollution”

~ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

He also highlighted his pledge to phase out single-use plastic in Maldives by the year 2023, as well as his administration commitment to reforming waste management systems and increasing use of renewables.

President Solih also noted that his administration is committed to designating at least one island, one reef and one mangrove, in each of our atolls as protected areas, as part of the work to preserve the ecosystem.

The president concluded his remarks by calling on all to be more respectful towards nature, and to heed a key lesson of this pandemic, adding that “if we continue to disrespect the boundaries of the natural world, we will face similar - and possibly worse - consequences.”

“We are now living the consequences of our constant disrespect towards nature. It is a zoonotic disease, Covid-19, that has caused this pandemic and brought the world to a standstill. If we continue to disrespect the boundaries of the natural world, we will face similar - and possibly worse - consequences. Let us keep that in mind as we build back our communities, economies and institutions from the disease’s impacts. Let us do right by our earth”

~ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

Last updated at: 2 weeks ago | Reviewed by: Simaha Naseem

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