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Waste management

Waste management and renewable energies in the Maldives

In November 2012 arkipal went back to the Maldives to continue overseas operations and to get back in contact with our existing network over the tropical islands. This second trip of 2012 enabled us to build new connections as we put our plans into action.

As first chairwomen of arkipal, Mascha Blome continued with existing connections and to build new ones with local islands, Resorts and Safari boat owners concerning renewable energies, waste management and environmental awareness. Our goal is to give awareness about the issues that come with climate change, tourism and waste in the AOSIS (Alliance of small island States) and try to support these States directly. In the Maldives we want to set an example for sustainability of this beautiful location so it can continue to be discovered for years to come.

Even if the tourism industry is the biggest income for the Maldives, it brings a lot of issues to the small island state. For example all imported items have to be moved by air transport and cargo ships, which produces a lot of CO2. The bigger problem is all of the remains of these items like plastic bottles, batteries and other packaging is until now not recyclable. At present there is no other way than collect and burn it all on little dumpsites on each island or on the main dumpsite “rubbish island” near Male, called Thilafushi. Thilafushi is a man made island out of rubbish… plastic, batteries, general waste, barrels, hospital waste etc…

Thilafushi, locally named „the rubbish island“ is an artificial made landfill in the crystal clear waters near Malé. Made out of all the rubbish from the capital and the close by resort islands, a coral reef lagoon was reclaimed from the sea where they used all of the waste to create this new island. At the moment this is the only place where people can dump their rubbish and if this place is too far, every local island has its own little dumpsite. But unfortunately it happens very often that people (locals and the resorts too) dump their rubbish on the beach and in the ocean so chemicals, small plastic particles (mermaid tears) and other rubbish makes its way onto the reefs, harms animals, pollutes beaches and spoils the ocean.

The time to start is now. We need to find sponsors and cooperation partners in the renewable energy or similar field, to help us realise and document a renewable energy show-house in the near future as arkipals’ first exemplary project on a local island in the Maldives. With a short documentary video we want to try to make people aware of the waste problems, which comes with the tourism and globalisation. It’s these factors plus climate change issues by which the small island states are affected the first. This will not be about blaming somebody; it will essentially be about showing the different opportunities for saving the Maldives and other threatened countries.

First of all arkipal wants to act as a good example for resort owners and the tourists, to show them that they should give something back to this wonderful environment which they are using for personal gain, instead of just exploiting it! It is imperative that this unique environment can stay as it is or even get healthier again. People both here and over the entire world has to act now and work together. The most important steps to take will be to make everybody aware of these threats and try to work against them with renewable energies, conservation programs, waste management and awareness sessions for tourists and locals. A lot of tourists come to the local islands for a day trip, in particular from Resorts to Velidhoo, but only see the „nice“ parts of them. We would like to show them the „real“ Maldives, „behind“ the scene as a developing country with environmental and social issues. At the same time there already are a lot of local NGOs and sustainable projects, working in these fields which arkipal want to offer them to experience too.

Together with our cooperation partner, the Maldivian NGO VFF (Velidhoo Future Foundation) on the local island Velidhoo in the Noonu Atoll, we started a waste management program in February 2012 and organised dustbins for the streets and convinced the council to sponsor the once a week pick-up service to bring them to the dumpsite. Unfortunately the bins haven’t really been used and we started a survey in the local houses, asking them why and what we need to change for them to use the bins and collect the rubbish instead of dumping it into the sea. The survey revealed that Maldivians are just as comfortable as we are and need the bins in central locations, picked up, emptied and cleaned and of course explained again why it is better (even if this is also not perfect) to burn the rubbish than trow it in their reefs…

Anyway it would be very helpful and effective for our work here in the Maldives, if we could find some sponsors, partners and helpful contacts to allow us to continue our work and start new projects on other local islands…

If you are interested in arkipals work or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us per mail under:

m.blome@arkipal.org or info@arkipal.org

Arkipal in the Maldives 2011/2012

In the year of 2010 I founded my NGO arkipal in Bremen, Germany to support the AOSIS against the impacts of climate change. From December 2011 to march 2012 I finally have been to local islands in the Maldives again to see the situation there and make contacts for my NGO.

The first two month I have been to Naifaru in the Lhaviyani Atoll and supported local NGOs as a Team leader in Waste management, beach cleaning, turtle Conservation and education projects. We achieved the installation of waste bins in the preschool and school to build an awareness of waste, recycling, reusing and reducing between the children. As waste is one of the biggest problems in the Maldives (Thilafushi), not only for the local islands but also for the resorts, it is for arkipal one of the most important goals to make the people aware of the impacts waste can causes to the environment. The animals, beaches, water and reefs (as natural protection zones for the islands) are very badly effected by pollution!

The first recycled „bottle bin“, made with locals for waste awareness. It is important to give ideas about how to reuse and recycle to reduce!

The beach of a local island…

Beachcleaning with local school kids and other volunteers on Naifaru.

During the month of february 2012 I stayed in Velidhoo, Noonu Atoll where we did fishwatch for the Marine Center in Male, education programs with the local school (waste managment classes, swimming lessons, fishery science and English classes) and initiated a local waste collection on a regular bases with the council. For this, we installed sponsored waste bins around the island.

If you are interested to sponsor a waste bin (with your logo or name on) for a local island, please get in contact with us!

For my NGO arkipal I’ve set up good contacts to reduce the impacts of climate change on the Maldives with the implementation of renewable energies, reef conservation, waste management programs and creating awareness between the Maldivian people.

At the moment I am in discussions with the management from the Felivaru Tuna factory in the Lhaviyani Atoll. I and a documentary film maker from the UK had the great opportunity to visit the whole factory for one day. We were very impressed to see how effective, innovative and sustainable the factory works. The management of the factory is very interested in giving a chance to renewable energies and implementing them.

Arkipal is now planning to go back to the Maldives in the end of this year to realise several projects with the tuna factory island Felivaru, to give support to the Maldives against the threats of climate change.

To make aware of the impacts of global warming and sea level rise, arkipal wants to demonstrate alternative energy options to the population. Together with the tuna factory we want to create a pilot project on Felivaru and illustrate the advantages of renewable energies, waste management and protection of the local reefs.

On the area of the factory is enough space to install solar panels, wind energy, kites for the fishing vessels and LED-lamps which is a great option to reduce the diesel consumption in the process of tuna production. (2L of diesel for one can of tuna at the moment)

Furthermore the management of Felivaru is already using a small Bio-Gas unit, which they would like to expand for making fertiliser out of the canteen kitchen and fish waste. As the factory produces a lot of organic waste, they have the possibility to produce a lot of fertiliser for hydroponics, gas and steam energy.

The first conservation project is the coral reef conservation on local islands. To realise this project we don’t need a lot of people in the beginning and the costs for the material are not too high.

We just need broken peaces of alive coral, tie them on a coral frame with sand on and find a right place in the house reef for them. It is important to consider the current, the boat traffic and the natural conditions and the inhabitants around. After a while, the corals will attach to the frames and attract fish and marine biodiversity and micro organisms.

If you are interested in sposoring a coral frame or coral table, please contact us!

In times of climate change and sea level rise it is very important to rebuild and protect the reefs around the islands, because they are the natural protection zones of the islands which protect them against erosions.

Together with Basement Vision, arkipal has the knowledge and motivation to install coral frames around local reefs.

To include and motivate the Maldivian population of the local islands, arkipal wants to cooperate with a local NGO to set up a show house for renewable energies. It will be a normal local house, where we plan to install solar energy, Bio gas and LED lamps. By showing how much energy and money you can save in the long run, we would like to motivate and convince the local people trying to use renewable energies.

At the same time Bio gas units would decrease the organic waste on the beaches and avoid crows and other unpopular animals. Also the Resorts should be interested in having clean beaches for the tourism (excursions for their tourists on local islands), why arkipal also plans to convince the Resortowners to support local islands and to implement renewable energies on their islands.

Arkipal wants to document all this in cooperation with Alexander Brown from Basement Vision, who just finished his first documentary about conservation programs in the Maldives. With a new documentary we plan to show the people over the world, who mostly knows the Maldives as a luxury holiday destination, that there is a “real” side of Maldives, with problems, culture and nature which has to be supported and preserved.

The concrete plan for arkipal, to find supporters and sponsorships for the equipments and work on Felivaru, local islands and the installation of the show house in Naifaru, Lhaviyani Atoll. We would like to go back to begin in September of this year to start our battle against climate change.

It is not only the problem of the small island states like the Maldives, this is just where it all starts…

First of all, arkipal wants to set an example and make a statement for renewable energies and against the exploitation of the environment. We can’t exploit this unique environment without giving anything back for its protection. Especially the tourism is using this nature and should give back more than waste… The tourism, with its 15.000 charter flights arriving in Hulule per year, is producing the largest part of CO2 emission of the country, plus Speedboats and Seaplanes.

This is the reason why arkipal wants to convince the resort and safari boat owners of using renewable energies and support local islands, for example by sponsoring waste bins, education programs or local artists.

The beaches, corals and animals are threatened by the rubbish which comes with the current to every inhabited and uninhabited island. But these islands and communities don’t have the financial capacity and awareness to protect their environment. We need to keep the nature clean and protected and preserve the Maldives for all the children and future generations.

Humans should work together for the one planet we have, even if they are not directly affected.

Arkipal wants to create a feeling of common responsibility between humans and use this feeling to help the threatened small island States all over the planet. We don’t want to impose things to people, we want to try to give help and support where it’s needed. Because of already existing contacts to the Maldives, arkipal decided to begin in this small island state.

We hope to find more people being dedicated and passionate about preserving these paradises and so supporting arkipal for realising its dreams!

Bank account arkipal e.V. in germany:

arkipal e.V.

Sparkasse Bremen

BLZ: 29050101

Kontonr.: 86004264

IBAN: DE35290501010086004264

SWIFT/BIC CODE: SBREDE22XXX

Vielen Dank! Thank you very much! Merci beaucoup! Muchas Gracias! Sukuriya!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:

info@arkipal.org