GEF mission visits Baa Atoll
A team from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has completed a mission to Maldives to evaluate outcomes of 7 projects , some of which are ongoing and others completed with funding from GEF in Maldives and among those completed included in Baa Atoll.
The Government of Maldives together with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched the Atoll Ecosystem Conservation Project (AEC Project) in 2004 in Baa Atoll which was successfully completed in 2012.
The three main objectives of the Project were (a). Conservation of biological diversity, (b) Mainstreaming of biodiversity at a policy level and (c) the improvement of livelihood.
The two most important outcomes of the AEC Project was the declaration of Baa Atoll as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the subsequent opening of Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office in Eydhafushi to manage the Biosphere Reserve and the establishment of Baa Atoll Conservation Fund to financially sustain the programmes of the Biosphere Reserve Office.
The GEF Evaluation mission to the Maldives visited the country from 22 July – 1 August 2019 and visited visited Baa Atoll on 25 July 2019 and met with the staff of Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office and met with the main project stakeholders in the atoll and undertook interviews and site visits to gather a deeper understanding of the extent and drivers of sustainability of the outcomes of GEF support towards SIDS’ main environmental challenges from the countries’ perspective.
The work by GEF is being carried out as part of the independence Evaluation Office of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) in small island developing states (SIDS) and since Maldives has been selected for an evaluation mission covering the strategic cluster Evaluation (SCCE) of the SIDS by Global Environment Facility (GEF).
A separate meeting was also held with the then Project Manager of the Atoll Ecosystem Conservation Project Mr.Abdulla Shibau in Male’ on 31 July 2019 where the Consultant from GEF gathered information regarding the project, outcome, sustainability and way forward.