The PROMISE project team conducted the third and the final policy roundtable on Marine Litter Prevention in Maldives on 7th February 2023.
As a part of the effort to tackle marine litter in the Lakshadweep sea, the PROMISE project organised a series of Policy Roundtables to prototype policy solution mechanisms for key challenges that pose in prevention of marine litter. The policy roundtables aim to maximise stakeholder engagement by bringing together policy makers, governmental bodies, institutions, development organisations, associations, NGOs and social enterprises working in waste management and marine litter prevention projects.
The first policy roundtable (Defining Challenges) was conducted in Maldives on 22.03.2022, where the participants discussed the current challenges and gaps in policies for Maldives to prevent marine litter. The key challenges defined by participants were:
- Lack of awareness amongst general population
- Lack of communication and coordination between government and stakeholders
- Lack of waste management infrastructure
- Lack of proper monitoring body for waste management
Building on this, in the second policy roundtable (Solution Prototyping), was conducted on 06.06.2022 where participants focused on policy benchmarking (best cases) and the potential adaptation to the Maldivian context. They further designed and developed policy prototype solutions mechanisms for the challenges that were identified in the first policy roundtable.
The groups came up with four main policy solutions:
- Online information & matchmaking platform for waste policies and services
- Restructuring of Single-Use Plastic phase out committee with formation of nodal agency
- Refining the policy formulation and implementation process including needs assessment & monitoring and evaluation systems
- Nationwide waste management campaign as 'Mindful Citizens' for awareness on waste and it's implementations to our ocean
The third and the final policy roundtable public showcasing of policy prototypes developed invited policy makers and consultants, NGOs, relevant ministries and academia to discuss and refine the solutions developed during the second policy roundtable. In total around 30 stakeholders participated in the roundtable.
Workshop began with introduction or the project activities by Dr. Abdulla Nazeer, Project Manager, Maldives National University (MNU) followed by Ms. Nafha Asim, Consultant from MNU presenting outcomes of the project activities with MSMEs in tourism sector. Mr. Amar Munnolimath, Senior Manager from adelphi gave a brief presentation of all four developed policy prototypes, he also facilitated the group discussion as a key resource person.
Groups worked on the refinement of the prototypes in their groups, using posters (tools). Group one refined the online information waste management platform, and emphasized that this kind of platform can be hosted on already ongoing programmes/projects from Government or NGOs. Also requested if there is a possibility from PROMISE project to start the initial work on the platform and work towards development during the project period.
Group two emphasized on restructuring of ‘Single Use Plastic – Phaseout Committee’ by adding non-governmental actors in the committee, example: development organisation, international development banks who are interested in the SUP ban aspects. This in general will also bring the monitoring of the implementation of SUP Phaseout plan.
Group three specifically detailed out the governing and decision making structure to decentralized waste management committees and infrastructure for each islands. They also mentioned that Ministry of Environment is a key stakeholder that should lead from front to ensure these infrastructures per island.
Group four discussed innovative programmes and initiatives to engage pupil and other stakeholders in awareness and capacity building on waste management.
Groups really liked the overall policy roundtable series methodology and appreciated the effort of PROMISE project of bringing different stakeholders at one place to develop policy solutions. These inputs will be consolidated to refine the prototype solutions and will be shared with participants and other stakeholders for their updates and suggestions and finally will be published by the end of June 2023.