USAID Project Regenerate in Maldives

Coral reefs in Maldives

DocProject title: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) USAID Project Regenerate in Maldives (Reefs Generate Environmental and Economic Resiliency for Atoll Ecosystems)

Location: Republic of Maldives

Duration: 2013 – 2019

Project background: The Maldives, a low-lying atoll nation in the Indian Ocean, is a country at high risk from the impacts of climate change; including increasing sea surface temperatures, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, sea-level rise and changing rainfall patterns. The Maldives is highly dependent on its dazzling and world-renowned coral reefs for its tourism and fishing industries. Coral reefs play a fundamental role in food provision, shoreline protection and tourism revenue. However, coral reefs are also highly susceptible to climate change and the Maldives has already been impacted by mass coral bleaching in 1998, 2010 and 2016 that killed a majority of shallow corals. Fortunately, Maldivian coral reefs have also shown great capacity for resilience in the past with coral recovery being among the best recorded in the Indian Ocean.

Recognising that sound coastal resource management is critical to sustainable development and climate adaptation, the Government of Maldives is developing and implementing policies to protect coral reefs and support marine management. Project REGENERATE is generously funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and works towards building capacity for marine management and climate change adaptation of ecosystems, local communities and government in the Maldives.



Objectives of the project: The project works to help local communities and government to measure and understand the impacts of climate change, and to develop management strategies that build resilience, mitigate impacts and promote adaptation. The project aims to first build the evidence base for understanding the impacts of climate change through social and ecological scientific assessments; secondly build capacity and awareness of local communities and government through trainings and public awareness campaigns; thirdly assist the government in developing management plans for coral reef ecosystems and reef-dependent people; and fourthly develop strategies for sustainability of management plans.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Improve access to science and technology for decision-making and establishing policy frameworks for increasing coastal resilience
  • Increase stakeholder capacity to measure, monitor, and adapt to climate stresses through education, training, and outreach
  • Strengthen governance in support of decentralized management of more resilient reef ecosystems
  • Recommend sustainable financing mechanisms to support climate-resilient marine management  

Expected outputs:

  • Social and ecological scientific assessments of the status of coral reefs and natural resource uses in Maldives
  • Citizen scientists and government officials trained in monitoring coral reef ecosystems
  • Public awareness campaigns on the importance of healthy coral reef ecosystems
  • Management and zoning plans for coral reef areas
  • Sustainable financing strategies for environmental management

Donor: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Partners: Ministry of Environment and Energy, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Marine Research Centre, Environmental Protection Agency

All documents for this project can be found under the 'Downloads' section on the right-hand side of this page. For 2014 and 2015 newsletters, please contact : 

Gabriel Grimsditch
Acting Chief Technical Officer
Project Regenerate Maldives, IUCN
Merryrose Building 2nd Floor, Filigas Magu, 20006, Malé, Maldives
Tel: +960 753 4640


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