The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) collaborated with Parley Maldives and the Ministry of Education for an unprecedented series of nationwide ocean conservation and sustainability themed events termed “Maldives for the Oceans” that included Coastal clean-ups, Underwater clean-ups, an Ocean Pledge and Ocean Lesson held on the 17th of June 2023. These events were held in celebration of World Oceans’ Month (June 2023).
Mr. Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem also known as ‘’ND Azeez’’ is a renowned marine conservationist who has dedicated the entirety of his life towards marine and environmental conservation. He has worked both in the public and private sector towards this end and is also known as the pioneer behind the ‘’Necklace Project’’ – an innovative technological project designed to prevent beach erosion (for more information regarding the ‘’Necklace Project, please visit:
Remarkably, he is also the first Maldivian to have a new Bryozoan species named after him – the Exechonella azeezi.
Work with MATI:
a) K. Thilafushi Site Visit (4th March 2020) and meetings with the Minister of Environment:
Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem (Environmental Consultant, MATI) together with Mr. Rafil Mohamed (Executive Director, MATI) went on a site visit to K. Thilafushi on the 4th of March 2020. The purpose of this trip was to view the open waste burning area, handling of waste from the resorts to K.Thilafushi and to see the site for the proposed waste management project.
Prior and subsequent to the site visit, Mr. Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem along with Executive Board Members of MATI met with the Minister of Environment to raise concerns with regard to the open waste burning area of K. Thilafushi and to discuss the Government’s proposed waste management to stop this practice.
b) Meetings with the Minister of National Planning and Infrastructure to discuss the proposed reclamation of Gulhifalhu
Mr. Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem along with Executive Board Members of MATI met with the Minister of National Planning and Infrastructure Hon. Mohamed Aslam to raise concerns with regard to the negative environmental impact that would ensue from the proposed sand mining and dredging areas for the Gulhifalhu reclamation project.
The Minister shared detailed plans of the project and assured MATI that they would enforce strict mitigation measures and ensure that minimal impact is caused to the environment as a result of the reclamation project. The Minister also agreed to share progress updates with MATI and meet periodically to discuss this matter.
After 3 years of service, Mr. Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem retired from his role as the Environmental Consultant of MATI on the 20th of February 2024. Nevertheless, he remains active in advocacy and other work related to the protection and preservation of our fragile ecosystems.