The governments of the Maldives and Germany yesterday signed a climate protection agreement that will see the granting of €3million from the European partner.
Launching the scheme at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Minister of State for Environment and Energy Abdul Matheen Mohamed expressed his gratitude to Ms. Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo – Sri Lanka Country Director for German development firm GIZ – who signed the agreement on behalf of the German government.
GIZ – ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ or the German Society for International Cooperation – is a corporation working in close alignment with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“The physical component under this project is to install photo voltaic (PV) systems in Raa atoll Ungoofaru island and Dhaalu atoll Kudahuvadhoo island,” a press release from the ministry explained.
“Under this project 119 kW of grid connected PV system will be installed in Ungoofaaru and 166 kW of grid connected PV system will be installed in Kudahuvadhoo.”
Whilst €800,000 is allocated for the solar panel project, the remaining allocation will go towards ‘soft components’ such as preparing a renewable energy investment guideline and developing low-carbon guidelines for resorts.
The ministry expects the physical component of the project to begin in February and for the work to be completed in 6 months.
The Maldives was pledged a further €4million from the European Union earlier this month to address climate change in the low-lying island nation.
In a recent report titled ‘Turn Down The Heat’, the World Bank reasserted the urgent need for concerted efforts to support the Maldives in adapting to climate change, due to a projected sea level rise of 115 centimetres by 2090.
In the document, a 4 degree Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) global temperature increase was predicted by the end of the 21st century unless concerted action is taken immediately.
Based on the report’s findings, the World Bank has highlighted the urgent need for concerted efforts to support the Maldives in adapting to climate change.
As one of the lowest-lying countries in the world, with an average elevation of 1.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise.
“The Maldives is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change impacts and has set best practice examples in adapting to climate change consequences,” stated Ivan Rossignol, World Bank Acting Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The current administration, under recently elected President Abdulla Yameen, is in the process of formulating a series of 100-day goals, though it has yet to set-out clear policies on the environment.
Climate change failed to feature in either Yameen’s, nor this main challenger Mohamed Nasheed’s election campaigns.
Former President Nasheed’s efforts to raise awareness of climate change – most notably at the 2009 Climate Change Forum in Copenhagen – brought international acclaim and significant donor aid to the Maldives.