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Increasing Climate Resilience in the Maldives Tourism Sector

The Maldives’ tourism industry is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of its geography and the dependence of its economy on natural resources. Without changes to current global resource use, the Maldives is projected to experience potentially significant economic losses in the tourism sector.

Climate change adaptation may be critical for reducing these economic losses. Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of adaptations from a public- and private-sector perspective is important in selecting the most appropriate suite of adaptation options for the tourism sector.

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme and the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, Abt Associates’ staff conducted an economic assessment of climate adaptation options for managing potential climate risks in the country’s tourism industry. We systematically screened and evaluated climate adaptation options for the tourism industry in the Maldives with two approaches using:

  1. A stakeholder-driven multi-criteria analysis. We evaluated the social, environmental, technical, and economic tradeoffs of eight coastal protection adaptation options that aim to minimize loss and damage to coastal infrastructure, resources, and livelihoods from sea level rise and storm surge events; and
  2. A benefit cost analysis. We quantified the costs and benefits of raising the height of an existing seawall to mitigate damage from future storm surge events.

The project’s final report presented Abt’s analytical findings and included recommendations on public policy strategies and policies, regulations, and incentives for the tourism industry to further adapt to likely climate risks.

Read the final report: Economic Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation to the Maldives Tourism Industry: Increasing Climate Change Resilience of Maldives through Adaptation in the Tourism Sector