Primer: Climate-Induced Loss and Damage and Cultural Loss in Maldives

April 6, 2023

Resource Type

Case Study



Geographical Focus


Created On :
April 6, 2023

Maldives’s exclusive economic zone consists of only 1% land across 1,192 small islands and 99% sea, comprising the world's seventh largest reef system. The seas teeming with marine flora and fauna, white sandy beaches, and year-round warm weather make the country a leading tourist destination.

However, approximately 80% of the Maldives’ islands are less than one meter above the mean sea level, making it one of the lowest-lying nations in the world. The scattered, small islands house dispersed communities with human settlements and critical infrastructure in close proximity to the shoreline. This vulnerable geographical nature of the country and its reliance on a fragile natural environment poses both a developmental and an existential threat to Maldives. The impacts of climate change, in particular slow-onset events such as sea level rise and ocean acidification, cause mounting economic and non-economic losses and damages to Maldives, even at the current 1.1 degrees of warming.

This publication has been developed as part of SLYCAN Trust's work programme on loss and damage in partnership with the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology  of the Republic of Maldives.

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