Maldives National University (MNU) has visited – Alifu Alifu (AA) Atoll islands to introduce the Project PROMISE to different stakeholders on the atoll. The first Stakeholder Engagement events on AA Atoll were held at Alifu Alifu Ukulhas and Rasdhoo islands on 15th and 16th February 2022 respectively. The meetings were held with the local government authorities including Atoll council, island councils, guesthouse owners/operators, watersports, dive centers, restaurant owners and managers, other tourism enterprises, and non-governmental organizations.
Ms. Nafha Asim (Junior Technical Expert, MNU) facilitated the meeting, starting off with an introduction to project PROMISE, its consortium partners, goals, and objectives. Nafha also presented the current situation of waste management in the country and emphasized the importance of tackling marine litter for securing the booming local tourism in AA atoll. Afterward, the attendees expressed their views and concerns with regard to the issue of marine litter in the atoll. Vice President of the Guesthouse Association of Maldives (GAM) Sameeu Imad also highlighted that Alifu Alifu atoll is well known for its exemplary waste management practices.
In addition, potential solutions for challenges facing the island communities were also discussed, and participants expressed their keenness and cooperation to work with the PROMISE project partners to implement its planned activities.
All the stakeholder engagements and meetings were concluded with plans to visit the remaining touristic islands in the atoll such as Mathiveri and Thoddoo. Throughout this trip, the MNU team has received over 50 applications and conducted a total of 27 assessments and audits in Ukulhas and Rasdhoo. Following up, plans were made to revisit the islands and conduct information sessions with different stakeholders on the islands while carrying out the assessments and audits needed for the project.