28 May 2012. According to a preliminary report on Climate Governance Integrity by Transparency Maldives, approximately US$160.5 million dollars is currently being spent on various projects through externally funded grants and loans.

It noted that the former government appointed two presidential advisors – Mike Mason, an expert on renewable energy, carbon finance, and offsetting, and Mark Lynus, an environment activist and journalist – on climate change related policies, both of whom resigned following the change of power on February 7. No new advisors have been appointed to date.

The other major body providing expert advice on adaptation and mitigation efforts, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2020, was the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC), a 15 member body chaired by President Mohamed Waheed while he was Vice President. The report noted that in 2011 the CCAC only met twice, even though they initially planned to meet every fortnight according to the government press statement [at the time].

“Corruption in the Maldives is grand corruption, unlike neighbouring countries where much of it is petty corruption,” Aiman Rasheed, Project Director of Transparency Maldives, said. “In the Maldives there is corruption across the judiciary, parliament and members of the executive, all of it interlinked, and a systemic failure of the systems in place to address this. That why we score so low.”

Will the $160 million disappear into the maze of corruption?