Policy LeadershipPresident Mohamed Nasheed
His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed has been the President of the Maldives since 2008. He has received global recognition for his efforts to curb climate change and raise awareness of environmental issues, particularly as it related to island-nations.
He featured prominently in the international media in the run-up to, and during, the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. During that time, he even convened an underwater cabinet meeting on the ocean floor to highlight the grave climate change-related threats to the Maldives.
President Nasheed has pledged to make the Maldives the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2020. He has warned that Maldivians may be forced to seek a new homeland should rising sea levels make the Maldivians’ archipelago uninhabitable.
Moreover, he is campaigning for the protection of coral reefs that helped save his country from the devastating 2005 tsunami by absorbing the brunt of the powerful earthquake-triggered wave.
President Nasheed, a former journalist who was jailed several times for his articles, formed the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) while in self-proclaimed exile. He returned to the Maldives in 2005 to begin promoting the MDP. In 2008, President Nasheed won the country’s first ever multiparty presidential election by popular vote.
He has received several awards in recognition of his pioneering environmental work: Time Magazine named him a 2009 Hero of the Environment, and ‘The Age of Stupid’, the film on the devastating effects of climate change, presented him with an award at the film’s global premiere in New York City during Global Climate Week in September 2009.
President Nasheed continues to urge various leaders from developing or vulnerable countries like the Maldives to break away from carbon-based growth and to embrace green technologies for a carbon neutral future.