The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the Maldives has launched its newest initiative, the Unite for Climate Action journey under the Make My Island intiative with UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassador, Nikolaj Costou-Waldau.
The Unite for Climate Action project, is a project aiming to create the perfect network and support systems to address climate change related emergencies and natural disasters faster and stronger with experts working to provide local solutions through devising island level climate action plans, train local in emergency response and pilot new innovative projects in the Maldives.
The project has an ambitious goal of covering all the inhabited islands in the archipelago. But to more effectively and efficiently tackle the impacts of climate change, islands are categorised by increasing order of vulnerability, with the highest priority given to the most vulnerable island.
Funding for the Climate Action Project is raised through contributions made by well-wishers, especially local businesses. Mobilising the private sector for this initiative was kick-started by Nikolaj himself during a fund-raising dinner hosted in capital Male. A host of local businesses – from telecommunication giants to renowned conglomerates – pledged to ‘Unite for Climate Action’.
“I believe we can and will work through these challenges. It’s going to take all of us, but the benefits are enormous. We’re witnessing people all over the world coming together because they want change. It’s really a wonderful sight. We’ve realised that we can’t keep doing this, that we can’t keep cleaning up after every disaster. Everyone wants a healthy planet. It’s like that famous saying, “We act as if we live on nine planets when we only have this one,” and we’ve to take care of it.” - Nikolaj Costau Waldau
The Climate Action Project is ambitious and the beneficiaries are far-reaching. For people who are increasingly becoming victims of climate change, it may very well be the lifeline they have been waiting for.
But the benefits are not exclusive to victims. For the private sector, which depends heavily on the Maldives’ delicate environment, uniting for climate action before it is too late will save costs – through cuts on energy bills and reconstruction expenses – and future-proof their business interests.