بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
Excellencies, Ambassadors, Councilors, sector managers, Honorable Minister, distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen;
As salaam Alaikum and a very good morning to all of you.
I wish the weather will be better. We always tell the guests that the weather will be better in the afternoon, or tomorrow. So I hope that works.
It’s my pleasure to celebrate the launch of the first three pilot projects for climate change trust fund. The climate change trust fund is a generous contribution of the European Union, Australian Agency for International Development, the World Bank and multinational agencies, in a collaboration of the Maldivian government.
We hope that this is the start of a long-term partnership that will help to address the adverse impacts of climate change. I understand that this is a project to build a future for our younger generation, and educate them to move in the right direction, of planning to use the environment in a more economically sustainable perspective.
Today, if we neglect to address the issues and challenges facing the environment, there will be no tomorrow. Therefore the younger children of today must be told clearly that protecting the environment, protecting their future, is highly important.
The Maldivians live in many small islands which are extremely vulnerable to flooding and seasonal swells. As a person coming from the tourism industry I fully understand that our beaches and beautiful coral reefs are our assets, and it is our future. If these beautiful beaches and corals are destroyed, we will have nothing to offer to the beautiful guests who come from all over the world. And that will definitely impact our economy. Therefore today, we have to take care of waste we produce, how much of alternative energy solutions we can find, and we have to reduce our dependence on diesel oil, which also pollutes. This is certainly a challenge.
Therefore these pilot projects that we embark today, are extremely important. Therefore I congratulate those who worked so hard to make the climate change trust fund a reality.
Further, I’m particularly happy to see that most of the pilot project activities are directed towards locals and involving them. Yesterday, we agreed that in our institute of governance and development that we will include one of the members from the ministry to come and teach the island councils about the environment. This is a continuing programme that we conduct to the institute of governance and development trying to bring a better democracy in to this nation.
Once again I thank the hard work and the true dedication of the team from the ministry and our international friends who have made this a success. Our Environment, Energy Minister Dr Shakeela is 3 months 29 days old. Not her real age, but the time she spent in the office. Energetic young and very determined to make this a success. Therefore I have no doubt that this fund will create opportunities, create awareness, and certainly be a successful venture.
I’ve certainly not forgotten our donors. I have no words to express my gratitude for your kindness and your generous contributions to the fund.
Before I conclude, I would also like to acknowledge the work done by President Gayoom, and President Nasheed, with regard to protecting the environment. What they have done in the past will be followed by today’s government. And that is our commitment. Our policies have not changed towards climate, although other policies might have changed.
Once again thank you for all partners, and wish the climate change trust fund a success.
May god bless the Maldives.