Two Years Later: The Campaign to Protect Maldives’ Waves

How the fight for Chickens became the catalyst for surf break protection across the islands

It has been two years since Save The Waves and local partners launched the “Save Our Waves Maldives” campaign. Our fight to reverse the ongoing damage to the famous wave of Chickens continues while also advocating for the protection for all of Maldives’ treasured surf spots, which are under constant attack from coastal development and infrastructure.  

What is the Maldives campaign?

Chickens Surf Break in The MaldivesThe campaign has two primary goals: the first is to restore the wave at Chickens and the second is to create legal protection for Maldives surf ecosystems across the island chain. 

Chickens, one of the best and most accessible waves in the Maldives, has been significantly altered due to the construction of a seawall. We launched the Save Our Waves Maldives international campaign in February 2021 with local partners to protect Chickens, which catapulted the issue of surf break protection. With many Maldivian waves facing damage from infrastructure projects, our Coalition started working on securing long-term protection through government agencies for surf ecosystems to ensure that no more surf spots are lost to ill-planned coastal development projects.

This campaign started with Chickens and has grown into a movement to protect dozens of amazing surf ecosystems all across the Maldives. 

What is Save The Waves doing to protect surf breaks?

The fight to restore Chickens is ongoing. Currently, Save The Waves is advocating for the Maldivian government to support a geophysical study. This will help us and others understand the impact of current coastal infrastructure to wave quality and explore alternative solutions that can restore the beloved wave. 

Recently, coastal scientist and Save The Waves advisory member Ed Atkin traveled to the Maldives to meet with our local partners and conduct some initial wave modeling research at Chickens and other surf spots. 

Both of these studies will contribute to our ongoing conversations with the Maldivian Government, which includes the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment, to ensure a durable solution for Chickens.

At a regional level, our partners at Save Our Waves Maldives continue to advocate for protection of surf spots within the marine spatial planning process through the Noo Raajje program.

We are also collaborating closely with the Ministry of Environment on a surf management plan for the island of Thurumbadhoo which contain the famous surf spots Sultans and Honkeys.  This work will ensure that the potential protection and management strategy for these waves is durable and can be extended to the myriad of other waves across the islands.

What you can do!

Every voice does make a difference! This campaign and the work of our local partners have had a direct impact in pressuring the Maldivian government to proactively protect surf breaks.

Continue to speak up for Chickens and the protection of Maldives’ waves! Sign the petition so we can show that there is significant support from the international community. 

Don’t forget to follow and support our partners @saveourwavesmaldives

The road to conservation is long, but we’re not slowing down. Stay tuned for more campaign updates as we continue to fight for Chickens and waves in the Maldives and subscribe here

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