Implementing Tourism Adaptation to Climate Change in the Maldives


The Maldives tourism sector faces major issues resulting from climate change, such as shoreline and beach erosion, reduced water availability, interrupted supply chain and coral bleaching, among others. The aim of this project is to further develop and demonstrate adaptation initiatives that will reduce the vulnerability of the tourism sector, and its natural and human resource base, to the impacts of climate variability and change. This project enhanced the sustainability of the natural resource base and the capacity of operators and tourism dependent communities to respond to these challenges. Tourism operators in the Maldives are already taking actions on environmental management. This project strengthened these measures and the policy environment enabling their implementation in an integrated way.

The project was developed in the framework of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and its Focal Area on Climate Change. An initial proposal was approved by GEF to facilitate the first phase of the project development. This phase served to define a full project proposal through stakeholder consultations. The full project was 4 years duration, funded from the GEF Special Climate Change Fund.

Project details

The Maldives is an international champion of climate change, as a key environment and development issue. For example, in 1987 the Maldives brought climate change to the attention of the UN General Assembly, for the first time. Nationally, the strong linkage between environment and development is exemplified by the tourism sector. Environmental management in the tourism industry is highly self-regulated and is well ahead of government policy. However, practices vary greatly among resorts and there is a need for a more consistent application of EMSs for all resorts, with information on experience being collected in a central database and then disseminated.

The Marine Research Centre offered to provide backstopping for an environmental database, including a web-based online system specific to the tourism sector. Such a system has been proposed as part of the World Bank Environmental Management Project. It should also include a component on strategic environmental assessment. QMS Maldives has the capacity to audit the EMS of a resort, to ensure that good environmental practices are in place and are not just ad hoc activities. QMS Maldives is assisting some resorts to gain ISO14,000 accreditation. Resorts need to take a life cycle approach to dealing with waste issues, including purchasing policies and packaging requirements. The environmental commitment of resorts was questioned by some participants, including whether most resorts had staff with appropriate environmental qualifications.

Source: Integrating Tourism - Summary Report of the Initial Consultations May 2008 (John Hay, Gabor Vereczi, Amjad Abdulla and Ali Saleem).

Level of intervention: 
Key collaborators: 
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations: 
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Government of Maldives
United Nations World Tourism Organisation
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Maldives Ministry of Housing,Transport & Environment
Project status: 

Monitoring and evaluation

Project Start:

Project Inception Workshop: will be held within the first 2 months of project start with those with assigned roles in the project organization structure, UNDP country office and where appropriate/feasible regional technical policy and programme advisors as well as other stakeholders.  The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan. 


Day to day monitoring of implementation progress: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager, based on the project's Annual Work Plan and its indicators, with overall guidance from the Project Director. The Project Team will inform the UNDP-CO of any delays or difficulties faced during implementation so that the appropriate support or corrective measures can be adopted in a timely and remedial fashion.


Project Progress Reports (PPR): quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. Risk analysis will be logged and regularly updated in ATLAS.


Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Reports (APR/PIR): This key report is prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period (30 June to 1 July).  The APR/PIR combines both UNDP and GEF reporting requirements.  

Periodic Monitoring through Site Visits: 

UNDP CO and the UNDP RCU will conduct visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress.  Other members of the Project Board may also join these visits.  A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared by the CO and UNDP RCU and will be circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.

Mid-Term of Project Cycle:

Mid-Term Evaluation: will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed.  It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management.  Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project's term.  

End of Project:  

Final Evaluation: will take place three months prior to the final Project Board meeting and will be undertaken in accordance with UNDP and GEF guidance.  The final evaluation will focus on the delivery of the project’s results as initially planned (and as corrected after the mid-term evaluation, if any such correction took place).  The final evaluation will look at impact and sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development and the achievement of global environmental benefits/goals.  The Terminal Evaluation should also provide recommendations for follow-up activities.

Project Terminal Report: This comprehensive report will summarize the results achieved (objectives, outcomes, outputs), lessons learned, problems met and areas where results may not have been achieved.  It will also lie out recommendations for any further steps that may need to be taken to ensure sustainability and replicability of the project's results.

Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

Results from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums. 

The project will identify and participate, as relevant and appropriate, in scientific, policy-based and/or any other networks, which may be of benefit to project implementation though lessons learned. The project will identify, analyze, and share lessons learned that might be beneficial in the design and implementation of similar future projects.

Establish a two-way flow of information between this project and other projects of a similar focus. 



Gernot Laganda
UNDP Regional Technical Advisor