UN Maldives together with Laamu Atoll Council and the Government of Maldives has successfully held the first ever Laamu Climate Change Forum (LCCF) on 20-21 April in Laamu Fonadhoo.
Held under the theme ‘Climate Resilience and Laamu’, the Forum was attended by 61 council representatives from all communities of Laamu Atoll along with technical experts from UN agencies in Maldives and relevant Government Agencies including Ministry of Environment and Energy, Health Protection Agency, Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Local Government Authority, National Bureau of Statistics and National Disaster Management Centre.
This first LCCF is a key milestone of the UN Maldives’ ground-breaking Low Emission Climate Resilient Development (LECReD) Programme, marking the beginning of a series of climate change forums that are planned to be held in Laamu Atoll.
The forum provided an unprecedented platform to share knowledge and experience in development planning in the Maldives geared towards innovation, climate change adaptation and building resilience. The forum’s broader objective also includes stimulating and enhancing the understanding of scientific elements influencing climate resilient development.
The LCCFs will ultimately identify opportunities presented by climate change to invest in green growth and sustainable livelihood opportunities to pave way for low carbon lifestyles.
LECReD Programme, is a three-year programme funded by the government of Denmark and implemented jointly by the Government of Maldives and UN Maldives. The programme builds on the collective strengths of seven UN Agencies in the Maldives: UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO and FAO.
The programme will assist the communities of Laamu Atoll in adopting low carbon lifestyles and in incorporating low emission and climate resilient development approaches into their local level development planning processes. In this regard, the programme will support local councils, civil society, private sector and other local stakeholders.
“It is my wish, and the wish of the UN in Maldives, to see Laamu Atoll as a benchmark for future atoll and island-level planning that is more strategic, climate-smart and evidence-based, and which will help mobilize public and private investment” Ms. Shoko Noda, UN Resident Representative said during her remarks at the opening ceremony of the LCCF.
“Given the vulnerability of the Maldives to the adverse impacts of climate change, the LCCFs offer platforms to foster local innovation in creating local development plans that can benefit not just us, but also future generations,” she added.
Meanwhile, Minister of Environment Thoriq Ibrahim noted that the LCCF was a unique opportunity for climate change dialogue at the local level. “ We need more forums like this held across the country where communities can come together at the local level and talk about climate change impact and how to mitigate its effects on our communities,” the Minister said.
The President of Laamu Atoll Council Mr. Yusuf Amir, in his statement, noted that it is the only atoll in Maldives to have such a programme and urged the participants of the Forum to make positive use of this opportunity for the development of the atoll. He also affirmed the support of the Laamu Atoll Council to all participating UN agencies in implementing the programme successfully.
A second LCCF organized by UN Maldives and Government of Maldives is scheduled to take place in November 2015.
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