President addresses importance of “will” in ensuring sustainable developments

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has today said that the “will to make a difference” – both by political and private sector bodies – was vital to ensure more effective environmental protection in the future.

Speaking at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation’s (CANSO’s) 2012 Asia Pacific Conference being held this week at the Kurumba Maldives resort, the president addressed delegates over the “evident” toll on the global environment from unsustainable practices.

At part of a keynote address given this morning during the conference’s final day, President Waheed claimed that technological developments in air traffic management were a good example of the measures available for cutting down on the wider civil aviation industry’s carbon footprint.

However, Dr Waheed stressed that “the will to make a difference” was more essential to sustainable development than purely technical advances, according to a President’s Office statement.

The president added that private organisations like CANSO had an important role to play alongside governments in addressing “environmental damage and neglect”.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who Dr Waheed controversially replaced in February, has in recent years became a high-profile advocate for carbon neutral policies in the Maldives.

Nasheed’s government had committed to an ambitious plan to try to become carbon neutral by 2020, with the former president being an outspoken figure on the potential environmental impacts facing the Maldives should the world fail to adopt more sustainable practices.

During his speech today, President Waheed claimed that the Maldives had been a strong advocate for responsible global environment policy since 1989.

He added that his government was committed to protecting the environment and would develop new institutions to help oversee these goals, as well strengthening existing environmental bodies, according to the President’s Office.