The Maldives faces a growing challenge in managing its solid waste and associated environmental, economic and social consequences. The situation is more difficult on small islands due to the size of the communities, insufficient infrastructure and difficulties with waste transportation, etc. As a result, most of the waste generated there is disposed on the island foreshore or burnt at low combustion temperatures. This project aimed to establish a sustainable waste management system to reduce negative impacts on the islands’ environment.
Development of Regional Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan for Zone 6 in the Maldives
Waste management on small islands
The Ministry of Environment, Maldives developed a Regional Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan for Zones 6 & 7 with technical assistance from CCET and the participation of all 18 island councils, as well as civil society organisations and other stakeholders. The strategy aims to build sustainable waste management capacity and promote development of conducive implementation frameworks and strategic actions at both regional and island levels. It also aims to address key issues, needs and challenges in implementing the National Waste Management Policy at the regional and island levels, whilst also raising awareness amongst key stakeholders, including island councils and citizen groups, to better achieve a resource efficient and zero waste society. The Regional Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan identifies some strategies and priority actions to be achieved during the next five year period (2019-2023), including (i) maximising public awareness, waste separation, proper collection, composting and temporary storage of recyclables and residuals at the island level; (ii) improving appropriate technologies and infrastructure, and sustainable financial systems, including private sector involvement at the regional level; and (iii) institutional strengthening and monitoring.
The regional strategy will be utilised by all individual islands (17 in total) to develop their own waste management strategy and achieve climate and other co-benefits. Activities include stopping the dumping of plastic waste into the sea, mitigating climate impacts from open dumping, increasing resource efficiency and boosting the islands’ appeal as a tourist attraction.