Colombo, 11 April (Asiantribune.com):
On April 8, hundreds of students and families from seven North Ari Atoll islands joined Maldivian and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials to celebrate the Moodhu Maa-Kan’du marine festival on Rasdhoo Island. The event is part of a U.S.-funded project to strengthen the management of the coral reef ecosystem in the Maldives.
Organized by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the festival included a beach cleanup and provided residents with hands-on opportunities to learn about protection of marine life in the Maldives.
“The United States is proud to work with Maldivians to protect their valuable coastal resources, particularly coral reefs,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap. “We share their aspirations for a sustainable, democratic future.”
Maldives’ world-renowned coral reefs play a fundamental role in food production, shoreline protection, and tourism revenue, but coral bleaching has killed many shallow coral reefs.
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