The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Aminath Shauna, on Tuesday met with Ted Waitt, the founder and chairman of the Waitt Foundation. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Minister Shauna and Mr Waitt discussed the progress made under the NooRaajje Programme, a five-year partnership between the Government of Maldives and the Blue Prosperity Coalition. The programme aims to protect at least 20% of the Maldives' waters, as well as provide the necessary regulatory framework and a blue economy strategy.

Minister Shauna and Mr Waitt discussed the progress on the ongoing marine spatial planning work. The Minister also highlighted the importance of the Ocean Use Survey in understanding how Maldivians use the ocean and its value to these areas. Over the past six months, 18 facilitators have travelled to all inhabited islands in the Maldives, meeting with fishing and tourism sector stakeholders and the local community to map out their areas of significance. To date, over 25,000 people have been represented in the survey.

The Waitt Institute is an affiliated partner of the Blue Prosperity Coalition. It provides technical support to governments and stakeholders to create and implement sustainable ocean plans that would benefit communities worldwide. Minister Shauna is currently in Lisbon attending the United Nations Ocean Conference as a special representative for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The conference, co-hosted by Portugal and Kenya, is held from June 27 to July 1, 2022.