Environmental Issues

As a small island nation in a big ocean, the Maldives had a way of life that was ecologically sustainable for centuries, but certainly not self-sufficient. The comparatively small population survived by harvesting the vast resources of the sea and obtaining the other necessities of life through trade. The impact on the limited resources of their islands was probably minimal.

Now the Maldives' interrelationship with the rest of the world is greater than ever, and it has a high rate of growth supported by two main industries: fishing and tourism. Both industries depend on the preservation of the environment, and there are strict regulations to ensure sustainability. To a great extent the Maldives avoids environmental problems by importing so many of its needs. It could be asked

'There are 25 Protected Marine Areas in the Maldives, usually popular diving sights where fishing of any kind is banned.'

whether this is environmentally friendly or whether it just moves the environmental problems offshore.

Bluepeace Maldives (www.bluepeacemaldives.org) is a fantastic organisation campaigning to save the turtles, rare birds and coral of the Maldives.

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