The Maldives is a low lying island nation in the Indian Ocean with a population of 341,256 (2014). The country consists of about 1190 islands and the population is distributed over approximately 197 inhabited islands. The country’s main economic sectors are tourism and fisheries, both of which are extremely climate sensitive. The challenges Maldives faces in the context of climate change and development are similar to other small island nations.
These challenges include, but are not limited to, the low lying nature of the islands, high population density, high levels of poverty, and a dispersed geography. Because Maldives is a small low lying island nation, its vulnerability to climate change impacts and associated extreme weather events and disasters are significantly greater due to limited ecological, socio-economic, and technological capacities. Maldives’ geography also makes communication difficult and transport expensive. Maldives’ small, physically isolated economy is highly susceptible to global influences and shocks.
Continuous efforts are being undertaken to increase adaptation actions and opportunities, and to undertake low emission development. However, limited financial resources, capacity and technology remain as major challenges in addressing the impacts of climate change.