One of the countries most threatened by climate change is the Maldives, the group of South Asian islands that are coping with the rising waters of the Indian Ocean. One of the finalists in DM2009 was Innovative Gardening and Education to Adapt to Climate Change in the Maldives. The Live & Learn project aims to "increase the quality and quantity of local food production, using new techniques resilient to increasing groundwater salinity" caused by the rising waters. Innovative Gardening and Education would promote women as leaders in building a sustainable community network spreading the message of "no-till" resilient food production that combats encroaching salinity. In this mini-interview Fathimath Shafeeqa, Country Manager of Live & Learn's environmental education operations in the Maldives, talks about climate adaptation in her country, the national government's relationship with civil society, and what she and other DM2009 finalists who didn't win at the competition need to move closer to success -- in particular, from the World Bank:
Q. Is your country in its adaptation program doing enough to develop capacity -- knowledge and learning -- among government and civil society organizations?
A. Not yet, but the government is still discussing adaptation measures.
Q. Is the national government really listening to local communities in preparing adaptation plans and strategies?
A. new government is in place and trying to decentralise a lot of the decision making.
Q. Since you returned from DM2009, do you plan to work with government so that your project might be incorporated in national adaptation efforts?
A. Trying very much to discuss with the respective government agencies. No luck as yet. However, if the World Bank decides to send a letter of acknowledgement re the finalists to the Finance Ministry of the respective countries, the process would be much faster.