Former President Nasheed returns to Male’ after participating in jury for Zyed Future Energy Prize

Former President Mohamed Nasheed returned to Male’ on Friday afternoon after a visit to the United Arab Emirates to participate in the jury panel to select winners of the annual Zyed Future Energy Prize, an international award to recognise innovation, leadership and impact in renewable energy and sustainability.

This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony on January 15, 2013.

Upon arrival in Male’, the former President was greeted at the jetty by supporters and members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Former President Nasheed was granted permission to travel by the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court, which had earlier ordered his passport be held until conclusion of Nasheed’s trial over the detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

According to the Emirates News Agency, Nasheed along with other jury members Olaf Ragnar Grimsson, the President of Iceland, and Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy for South Africa, toured Shams 1 – the 100 megawatt Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) facility in the Western region of Abu Dhabi.

President Nasheed was also named in the jury for the Zyed Future Energy Prize in 2011 along with Leonardo Dicaprio, Oscar-winning actor; Andre Agassi, Grand Slam tennis champion; Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister; and Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, South African Minister of Energy.

The annual Zayed Future Energy Prize is open to individuals, large companies, entrepreneurs, small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and NGOs in the field of renewable energy and sustainability. Award category and prizes are: SMEs/NGOs: $1.5 million (winner), $1m (first runner-up), and $500,000 (second runner-up); Lifetime Achievement — Individual: $500,000; large corporations: Recognition Award.


Nasheed permitted to leave country for energy award ceremony

Former President Mohamed Nasheed will be allowed to leave the country on October 16 in order to take part in a ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Award in Abu Dhabi, reports local media.

Nasheed had been restricted from travelling by Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court following the issue of a warrant after Nasheed missed the first hearing in the Abdullah Mohamed detention case.

Nasheed – a world-renowned figure in the fight against climate change – appeared on the judging panel for last year’s Zayed award and has been invited to do so again next year, reported Haveeru.

“Nasheed will leave after completing every legal process,” an immigration official told the paper. “Other than being in the Judges panel there is nothing else scheduled during the visit to Abu Dhabi.”

The US$4million of prizes – named in commemoration of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – are described as the largest annual prize in renewable energy and sustainability.


Khalifa Foundation to create Maldives Distance Medical Services

Deputy Chairman of UAE’s Khalifa Foundation, Ahmed Juma Al-Zaabi, signed an agreement with State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Naseem, to grant the Maldives Distance Medical Services, reports Miadhu.

The foundation has many humanitarian initiatives around the world, aiming to fund sustainable projects that create jobs and raise standards of basic services like health and education in aid recipient countries.

The Khalifa bin Zayed Distance Medical Services project will include a network of 35 sites across the Maldives. The nursing department at the faculty of medicine will be named after Sheikh Khalifa.

The project will have a central base and several outposts. Doctors at the main centre will overlook reports made by nurses in the outposts and prescribe treatment. It is expected the service will provide medical attention to over 350,000 persons a year, according to Miadhu.

The grant will train local doctors, technicians and biotechnology specialists.

Chairman of the foundation, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said the project fits well with the foundation’s strategy to not only assist but build infrastructure which will improve living standards and create jobs.

He added the different outposts would ease the logistics in health care for distant islands.

Minister Naseem said the grant would improve living conditions for thousands of people living in the islands and remote regions of the country which are difficult to access.

It would also train hundreds of medical and nursing staff, Naseem added.


President bids for renewable energy investment at summit

President Mohamed Nasheed has opened the Maldives as a place “to test the latest renewable technologies in energy, waste, water, housing and transport.”

Speaking at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Nasheed invited assembled government ministers and energy company representatives “to come to the Maldives and share the best of your technologies.”

“The Maldives is open for business. To my mind, the smart money is green,” he said, predicting the introduction of a carbon market would eventually drive up the price of fossil alternatives.

“Renewables are becoming more efficient and affordable. While fossil fuels may [now] appear cheaper, sooner or later polluters will be forced to pay for the damage their products cause. When they do, market failures will be corrected and carbon pollution will be properly penalised.”

During the three day Summit, Abu Dhabi’s General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the emirate will invest US$15 billion in alternative energy projects, including Masdar City, the world’s first carbon and waste-free city.

“Abu Dhabi has reliably provided the world with energy for several decades,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “Global demand for energy continues to increase ever rapidly. As an energy provider, we have the responsibility to continue to meet that demand.”

Nasheed said he hoped Abu Dhabi’s “pioneering work in renewable energy and carbon neutrality” could be utilised in the Maldives to help fulfil the country’s ambitions of becoming carbon neutral in 10 years.

“I am here today because, in many ways, Abu Dhabi represents the future,” he said.

“I am here because this enlightened country is jettisoning the past and embracing change. Abu Dhabi is investing the proceeds of yesterday’s resources to build the green economy of tomorrow.”

Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan metropolis that sits on nine per cent of the world’s oil reserves and generates 15% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates. Much of the emirate’s wealth stems from the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company which produces 2.7 million barrels of oil a day, a figure the company has previously said it hopes to push to four billion during 2010.

“Some nations choose to take a back seat in this green revolution,” Nasheed said, “but others, such as Abu Dhabi, are playing a major role in the greatest transformation since the start of the Industrial Age. With the leadership being shown here, I am certain we can tackle the climate crisis.”


President to address World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi

President Mohamed Nasheed will shortly visit Abu Dhabi to address the World Future Energy Summit, a gathering of industry leaders, investors, scientists, specialists, policymakers and researchers.

The summit delegates will discuss the challenges of rising energy demand and possible actions to achieve a cleaner and more sustainable future for the world.

During his visit to Abu Dhabi, Nasheed will also meet the President of Greece, the Malaysian Prime Minister and the President of the United Arab Emirates.

After the event he will visit Mumbai to speak at the Global Economic Summit on Trade and Investment, and Chennai where he will chair an investment event focused on the Maldives.

The president will also visit Bahrain to meet with senior government officials and businesses.

At a press conference before his departure, Nasheed said he hoped the visits would open more opportunities for investment and assistance for the Maldives.