The Atmosphere Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology and the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, has launched a ‘Bamboo for Climate Mitigation’ project.
The project aims to make a contribution to the country’s carbon neutrality goal through two initiatives; by the large-scale planting of bamboo seedlings across the Maldives islands and the germination and propagation of seeds for research.
The project is spearheaded by Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem, the Vice President of the Atmosphere Foundation.
During the initial phase of the project, 500 bamboo seedlings will be distributed. The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology will distribute 250 seedlings to community islands, while the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture will distribute the remaining 250 seedlings to industrial islands.
Bamboo seeds have already been distributed to stakeholders and those who express interest in planting bamboo, including community islands and NGO’s, individuals, commercial agriculture islands and the Hanimaadho Agriculture Center. Atmosphere resorts will also incorporate the two varieties of bamboo seeds into their landscaping programs.
In order to promote awareness, a seminar titled ‘Working Towards Carbon Neutral Maldives with Bamboo’ was held on 17 May. Dr. Nambi Barathi, the Founder and Director of Growmore Biotech Ltd and a 20-year veteran in bamboo research delivered the keynote address. He spoke about the effective and mitigative measures for the Maldives to successfully achieve its target of becoming a net-zero carbon emissions country by 2030.
Dr. Barathi also emphasised the versatility and benefits of bamboo plants, highlighting their capacity to enhance soil quality and foster healthier environment by mitigating the effects of global warming. Bamboo is also known to release about 35% more oxygen than other plants.
Bamboo is considered the future crop for climate change mitigation. The versatility of the plant, its high levels of carbon absorption and oxygen release makes it an ideal plant for the Maldives. There are 36 inhabited islands in the Maldives with less than 30% green cover.
The Maldives’ carbon neutral target stems from the commitment outlined in the Paris Agreement’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as well as the commitment made in the 2021 Climate Emergency Act (9/2021).