“Pollution, in its various forms, threatens our environment and human wellbeing”, said Minister of State for Environment and Energy, Mr. Abdullahi Majeed at the Third United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya from 5-6 December 2017. On this note, he said that unless we take urgent action now, the problem will only amplify.
Further speaking, he said that a voluntary pledge was made to significantly and progressively reduce the use of non-biodegradable plastics in the Maldives, at the Oceans Conference held earlier this year. He said that an initiative has begun in collaboration with the fishing industry of Maldives whereby the fishermen would collect and bring back drifting plastics they encounter to the collection vessels to be further taken to waste management centres. He also said that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have identified waste management as a priority sector for action within the SAMOA Pathway. However, with the scattered islands, providing suitable, viable and environmentally sound facilities for waste management is a highly challenging task.
State Minister Majeed said that in addition to the numerous environmental problems, pollution also has very real impacts on the health and wellbeing of people and that in the Maldives alone, an estimated 48 deaths are caused by air pollution related complications each year. He said that this is a significant and an alarming figure given the size of the population in Maldives. In this regard, he requested the support from partners in establishing adequate ambient air quality monitoring mechanisms, as well as assistance to develop the necessary technical and human resources capacity in Maldives.