- Programs & Projects
- About Us
- The Team
ECOCARE Maldives was registered under the Ministry of Home Affairs in 15 November 1994. This is an independent non-profit-making non-governmental organization, which works for the protection and sustainable development of the environment.
ECOCARE is relatively young, non-governmental organization insofar as its official date of registration is concerned. However, when viewed in proper perspective, especially within view of its main objective- that of creating and increasing environmental awareness among the population of the Maldives- the organization has existed for a considerable period of time within the community.
In 1978, when concepts like the preservation of archipelagic ecosystems was relatively unknown not only to the average Maldivian but to the rest of the world as well. Environmental degradation and the scourge of sea level rise were relatively new expressions used within very limited circles in certain academic institutions. People who campaigned for the protection of nature in its complete form were viewed for the larger part as flower eaters, if not as eccentrics that were best ignored. The importance of the environment to the survival of the Maldivian came to the front from the early days of 80’s.
At the time the attention given to the environment in the Maldives was improving, but not to the degree that and aware environmentalist would have hoped. Dumping of chemical substances including used oil and expired pharmaceutical products, the indiscriminate slaughter and sale of turtles and other marine creatures with no regard to the survival potential and the cutting down of trees to make way for concrete was accepted practice. As the Maldives entered the 1980’s, the concerted attempts made by the government to rectify the situation started bearing fruit.
It was into the scenario that ECOCARE was born. The co-founders of ECOCARE Mohamed Zahir and Ibrahim Waheed “Ogaru”, two young persons from very different backgrounds were thrown together frequently not in their professional areas of work but in area where certain personal interests coverage- that of writing on issues of social concern. Mohamed Zahir was a professional photographer and journalist who worked for a local newspaper while Ibrahim Waheed “Ogaru” worked in the area of education. An almost continuous threat that ran in their contribution to local dailies and periodicals, with purpose, was the protection of the fragile environment of the Maldives in its delightful entirety. Their writings and other efforts supplemented and augmented official efforts made at a national level to increase environmental awareness in the nation. Their efforts were so rewarding and successful that they decided to commit themselves to the environment of the Maldives by formally registering ECOCARE Maldives.
Looking back. Listening the achievements of ECOCARE becomes an almost impossible task. From being the first non-governmental voice that asked everybody to protect and preserve the marine turtle within Maldives territory, from being a major non- governmental organization that called for the protection of the sharks and the grouper, from being an active participant in the protection of our natural reefs, from being a strong proponent of preserving the diversity of life in our ecosystem, from being a provider of environmental awareness resource materials and consultancy to schools, the tourism sector and whoever else that asks, from being an organization that commands respect and friendship from many an international organization, it is difficult to ascertain as to where success lies. The greatest success, perhaps, lies in the intangible aura of understanding and respect that young people in the Maldives appear to have developed for themselves- a phenomenon that ECOCARE has always actively subscribed and contributed to.
The two co-founders and a very dedicated General Secretary Mr Moosa Manik, also a volunteer dedicated to the ECOCARE cause, make up the foundation of this organization. The organization remains focused and committed to its highly practical approach to promoting environmental awareness in an active manner in the Maldives. However, whenever the need arises in the carrying out of an active exercise, ECOCARE has the unique privilege of calling upon a formidable reserve of volunteer partners from all profession walks of life. It is a matter of organizational pride that most who work with the organization for the first time on a given assignment choose to remain on call for a second opportunity. ECOCARE is much in their debt. ECOCARE also owes a great debt to a selected group of gracious and valued sponsors that have bolstered the organization in its practical undertakings.