Maldives

The Maldives is a tiny nation of 1,190 islands clustered in the Indian Ocean, touted for its sun and sand, crystal-clear waters, and its branding to the world as a tropical wonderland. It mostly relies on both its bountiful fishing industry and appealing tourism industry to sustain its economy, while its population thrives within the country’s island and/or urban lifestyle.

Being a low-lying nation, the Maldives is at high risk of sinking under the rising sea levels, which is brought on by climate change. While it shifts between a south-west monsoon and a north-east monsoon, bringing around a dry season and a wet season respectively, climate change has exacerbated the conditions of these weathers, leading to days of either intense heat or heavy downpours. As the sea level rises, the islands are prone to erosions and flooding, which can cause structural and financial damages.

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About the location

The pristine marine ecosystems of Maldives are being threat- ened by natural factors such as climate change and related factors such as coral bleaching. They are also threatened by anthropogenic activity such as tourism and over-exploitation without consideration given to biodiversity. Pollution from uncontrolled waste disposal, untreated sewage and land recla- mation, and channel building are significant threats to biodiversi- ty. However, turtle and shark fishing has been banned, as has coral mining. Threats or pressures on terrestrial biodiversity include damage due to unsustainable agricultural practices, such as overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, removal of vegetation for infrastructure and human settlement, and developmental practices.
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About the trees

583 plant species have been recorded in the Maldives, of which 323 are cultivated, and 260 are native or naturalized species. This is a relatively large number considering the island’s geo-graphical isolation, harsh climatic conditions, the absence of a large land mass, and the poor and infertile nature of island soil. We have gone through the plants and trees that grow in the Maldives, and we have selected 40 species.

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