USAID Climate Adaptation Project in the Maldives & Sri Lanka

Engaging the private sector to mitigate climate risks in the Maldives and Sri Lanka

  • Client: United States Agency for International Development
  • Partners: Tetra Tech, TWCorp, and Climate Collective
  • Project Duration: July 26, 2021 – July 25, 2026

Project Overview 

Climate risks in the Maldives and Sri Lanka are growing in frequency and intensity. Sea level rise, coastal storm surges, and flooding pose a significant threat to the Maldives, where more than 80% of the land area is less than one meter above sea level. Flooding and drought in Sri Lanka are among many of the consequences of climate change that negatively impact the most important elements of Sri Lanka’s economy. For these reasons, both countries have policy frameworks in place that identify climate change risks and prioritize adaptation strategies.

The USAID Climate Change Adaptation Activity (CCAA) is a five-year project in the Maldives and Sri Lanka where its purpose is to enhance the adaptive capacities of the public and private sectors and local communities to respond to the impact of climate change. The first year of the activity (2022) is focused on the Maldives. The CCAA will help identify and scale up solutions to climate-related challenges, strengthen governance to address climate-related risks, and improve access to high-quality information for decision-making to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Solimar will support this work by identifying innovative solutions to adaptively manage climate-related risk through market-driven private sector and community engagement.

Major Activities

  • Conduct a detailed desk analysis of the current state of tourism and climate change initiatives globally and in the Maldives
  • Lead a site assessment to the Maldives to gain a deeper understanding of current utilization of nature-based solutions to promote management, protection, and restoration of ecosystems by the tourism sector, including input from government officials as well as private sector operators and community-based tourism enterprises
  • Develop a Private Sector Climate Change Adaptation Investment Program to offer incentives to tourism business owners interested in investing in nature-based solutions to contribute to climate change adaptation
  • Create marketing messages and branding materials for businesses, including a Nature Smart label and communications materials
  • Directly market to businesses and secure business commitments in identified climate change adaptation activities and technologies
  • Create a website and public information campaign that will provide information about climate adaptation solutions in the Maldives, best practices, resources for tourism operators, a “climate pledge” for tourists, climate-focused tourist activities, and innovative business solutions
  • Create training materials for community members and tourism businesses sharing best practices in community-based adaptation projects, particularly those that target women, youth, and marginalized groups
  • Assist the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation and the private sector to integrate the climate change adaptation measures of the tourism industry and the new climate change-themed tourism experiences into the way they promote the Maldives to international markets

Anticipated Results

  • A minimum of 20 new business commitments and investments in climate change adaptation strategies in the first year, or approximately 20% of total businesses pitched, with an estimated $5 invested by the private sector for every $1 invested by USAID
  • Improved capacity of the private sector to identify, build awareness, and establish dialogues with the government about shared risks in key economic sectors
  • Strengthened capacity of private sector partners to adapt to and mitigate climate-related risks in their business models and investment chains
  • Improved capacity of local communities to identify climate-related risks and devise solutions for adaptive management

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