The Maldives has commenced the third phase of the Marine Spatial Plan (MSP).
The survey is conducted by the Noo Raajje programme, which is a partnership between the government of the Maldives and the Blue Prosperity Coalition. Noo Raajje aims to develop and implement solutions for long-term sustainable ocean management and resource utilisation, form the necessary regulatory framework to support sustainable management, and create a blue economy strategy. As such, the third phase of the study has now commenced and is scheduled to continue until March 20. The study, which is being conducted in collaboration with National Geographic's Pristine Seas Team of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, will focus on the oceans of Huvadhu Atoll, Fuvahmulah City, and Addu City.
Much of the information required to bring down to paper for the Marine Spatial Plan has been obtained during the past two expeditions. The Noo Raajje team notes that this expedition will provide a lot of information that is missing to compile the entire study. The expedition will be accompanied by a Maldivian scientist from Noo Raajje Maisha Mohamed. She will also be accompanied by experienced scientists from the Maldives and abroad for the expedition.
The expedition will focus on the southern waters of the Maldives where scientists will use techniques such as baited remote underwater video systems, deep-drop camera surveys, micro paleo as well as microplastic sampling to understand conditions in the southern waters, according to the Noo Raajje team. Expeditions have been conducted in the past to gather information needed to prepare a marine spatial plan for the oceans of the Maldives. After the expedition, a scientific report and a documentary video will be prepared in light of the information gathered.
In light of the information obtained from this study, policies can be formulated on the basis of the environmental issues identified in the Maldives. As such, 20% of the oceans in the Maldives will be protected. The practical work of this study began in 2019.
Blue Prosperity is an international coalition of partners engaging with countries to designate and implement 30% marine protection and establish a Blue Prosperity Plan through MSP, which is an approach that uses spatial information about natural resources and human uses to develop a comprehensive management system.