Project REGENERATE: Reefs Generate Environmental and Economic Resiliency for Atoll Ecosystems


The Maldives is a country at high risk from climate change, and is also highly dependent on its dazzling and world-renowned coral reefs. In fact, all the land in the Maldives is the product of coral growth over the millennia and the Maldives can truly be called a coral reef nation. Coral reefs play a fundamental role in food provision, shoreline protection and tourism revenue. The country has been impacted by climate change in the past with severe and mass coral bleaching in 1998 and 2010 that killed a majority of shallow corals. However, it has also shown great resilience with coral recovery being among the best recorded in the Indian Ocean. Recognizing that sound coastal resource management is critical to sustainable development and climate adaptation, the Government of Maldives has begun developing policies to protect reef fisheries and support marine management. Project REGENERATE is generously funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and works towards building the capacity for marine management in the Maldives and builds on the experience of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the Maldives working on critical environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity since 1985.

Project REGENERATE - 5 Aims

  • Enhance and expand on spatially explicit national information system for information sharing, decision‐support and planning. This aim will improve the use of GIS technology in environmental management in the Maldives.
  • Extend current status of knowledge of Maldivian coral reef fisheries to apply resilience-based management in one selected atoll. This aim will help us to understand the growing impacts of reef fisheries in the Maldives.
  • Enhance and promote civil society engagement in natural resource management. This aim will improve environmental awareness of the general public and engage them in citizen science projects.
  • Strengthen and operationalize public-private partnerships to further extend decentralized marine governance. This aim facilitates partnerships between resorts, dive centres and local government to develop management plans for coral reefs.
  • Enhance generation of knowledge and science associated with marine resources of the Maldives to apply resilience-based management. This aim supports the development of coral reef science for the Maldives.


Project Director: Dr. Ameer Abdulla




 A major goal of this project is to develop a Resilience-Based Management (RBM) framework to improve the ability of policy-makers and stakeholders in the Maldives to understand and address the risks from global, regional and local-scale pressures on their environment. Resilience can be defined as the capacity of a system (ecological or social) to withstand and absorb shocks without collapsing into a different, often less valuable, state of being. RBM is an innovative approach to environmental management because it recognizes the inevitability of change, it emphasizes adaptation to change and it focuses on building resilience rather than the conservation of a steady-state environment. At its completion, this project will provide the foundation for environmental managers to improve the outlook for coral reef ecosystems and the communities dependent on them. It will enhance our understanding of socio-ecological resilience, improve access to knowledge, and increase the capacity to manage coral reefs in the Maldives.

 Some of the activities and outputs of the project can be found in the tabs to the right of the screen. Please read our newsletters, follow us on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@IUCN_Maldives) for updates on our work.

Find out more about RBM in Maldives
Maldives EPA Director Mr. Naeem giving a certificate to a participant at a Manta Ray workshop
Coral reefs 14, Koh Bon island, Thailand
  • Click on image to go to Maldives Marine Projects.
Sunset and Dhoni.