This Second National Environment Action Plan is a nation-wide sectoral document that provides a framework to guide the efforts in ensuring that the Maldives continues to develop in a sustainable manner. The approach taken in the formulation of this NEAP II results in drawing out a number of key issues which need to be addressed and then identifying appropriate responses to them. The aim of this Action Plan is to protect and preserve the environment of the Maldives, and to sustainably manage its resources for the collective benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Main strategies to achieve the goal are (i) assessment of the state of the environment, including the impacts of human activities on land, atmosphere, freshwater, lagoons, reefs and the ocean, and the effects of these activities on human well being; (ii) development and implementation of management methods suited to the natural and social environment of the Maldives; (iii) consultation and working with all relevant sectors of society to ensure stakeholder participation in decision making; (iv) preparation and implementation of comprehensive national environmental legislation; (v) strengthening of national capabilities for effective public participation, management and administration; and (vi) financial support to enable the Action Plan to be implemented.NEAP II identifies coastal zone management - climate change and the associated sea-level rise are the primary concern for the country - biological diversity conservation, integrated reef resources management, management of solid wastes and sewage, pollution control and managing hazardous wastes, sustainable tourism development, land resources management and sustainable agriculture, human settlements and urbanization and sustainable fisheries management as issues to be addressed in environmental protection and management. Additionally, environmental policies suggested in this second document are based on the need to move from a sectoral approach to an integrated approach to allow for more coordination and cooperation, among the sectors concerned, in managing the environment while working towards the national goal of sustainable development.To make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable, the Action Plan suggests a number of interventions. As for agriculture, main actions are (i) encourage environmentally sound farming practices and promote use of appropriate technologies; (ii) Encourage use of composting to replenish and maintain soil fertility and use integrated pest management to control pests and diseases on islands; (iii) conserve plant genetic resource base of the country; (iv) assess the use of pesticides, evaluate agricultural practices in the context of integrated pest control, and prepare guidelines and recommendations for control of pesticide and herbicide use; (v) develop national land use databases, including estimates of the carrying capacity, economic and environmental value of land resources, and enhance the use of Geographic Information Systems; (vi) develop monitoring and assessment capabilities, maintain water resources databases, and utilize relevant decision-making tools for water management, planning and utilization; and (vii) assess the quality and quantity of groundwater in selected islands, with priority given to identified growth centers, major agricultural islands, and islands experiencing salt water intrusion resulting from extraction of ground water. As for forestry, main actions are (i) manage forestry and firewood by adhering to planned schedules for re-planting, logging and firewood collection from designated sites; and (ii) continue extensive tree planting programs and conserve trees of special significance. As for fisheries, main actions are (i) improve the knowledge regarding the structure of the marine species subjected to exploitation by conducting long-term scientific research; (ii) assess and evaluate the reef fishery stocks and regulate exploitation to ensure sustainability; (iii) identify potential fishery targets, assess fishery yields, carry out market research on them, and disseminate the resulting information; (iv) enforce existing legislation concerning reef fisheries and exploitation of other reef resources and strengthen the national institutional capacity to manage reef resources; (v) participate actively in the work of sub-regional, regional and international fisheries management organizations, to ensure effective conservation and sustainable management of pelagie resources, for the benefit of small island states; (vi) establish a network of marine protected areas and include representative samples of all major habitats, designed to act as harvest refuges and to protect breeding stocks and biological diversity; (vii) increase awareness of the fishing community, in particular, and the public, in general, on issues relating to reef resources management, such as the danger of over-fishing, advantages of sustainable resource use, impacts of coral mining and the benefits of using alternatives to coral rock for construction and encourage the use of imported constructions materials; (viii) develop and implement integrated coastal zone management plans and encourage atoll coastal area management through community participation; and (ix) establish facilities to collect waste oil, chemical wastes and garbage at ports, fishing harbors and marinas.In order to enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, the document proposes (i) support for local economies through local community involvement; (ii) collaborative, participatory reef resources monitoring and management program involving people directly engaged in reef resources utilization; and (iii) development of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) to enhance the quality standards of the Maldivian fishery products.The resilience of livelihoods to disasters shall be increased through (i) highlighting the vulnerability of small low-lying island developing; (ii) increasing participation in the global research, assessment, monitoring and mapping of climate impact including adaptation measures and policies and the development of response strategies; (iii) strategic environmental assessments to ensure that new settlements built on islands are environmentally suitable and reduce the risk of damage form natural phenomena; (iv) strengthening the national capacity to monitor and assess the state of the country’s fish stocks, including development of research capacity necessary to assess the effect of climate and environmental change on fish stocks; and (v) promoting more efficient use of energy, and encouraging introduction of environment-friendly energy sources.
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