President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said that the tourism industry, the government and the people of Maldives were doing all they could to protect the natural gifts to its people.
The President made this remark while speaking at the Opening Session of the Official celebrations of World Tourism Day 2013, held this morning at Kurumba Maldives.
Highlighting the theme for this year’s World Tourism Day, Tourism and Water-Protecting our Common Future, President Waheed said that the theme was especially pertinent to life in the Maldives.
President highlighted the impacts of global warming and climate change to the Maldives. In this regard, he said that its effects on Maldives were much more severe then most people could imagine.
In his speech, President underlined the issue of water supply facing the Maldives. He noted that the fresh water lenses of a number of our islands were severely threatened by salt water instrutions and other forms of contamination. Therefore, President said that half of our people today live on desalinated water, while the other half of the people do not have access to quality drinking water.
President Waheed also expressed concern over the issue of coastal erosion facing the country.
In his speech President highlighted that tourist resorts have addressed to a number of problems relating to climate change and global warming, through engineering solutions and advanced up to date technology.
However, the President expressed dismay that the technologies both in coastal erosion and water production were not adequately transferred to the development of local islands.
Continuing in this regard, president expressed hope the tourism industry would be able to work with the government and local communities to find integrated solutions for the issues that are both affordable and sustainable.