The Marine Research and High Education Center (#MaRHECenter) was officially inaugurated on January 28th, 2009. Purpose of the Center is to carry out research and teaching activities in the fields of environmental sciences and marine biology, science of tourism and human geography, to teach how to protect this fragile environment and its biodiversity, how to use and manage its resources in a responsible way.
Ocean water and coral reefs are vital for the economy of the Maldives. The two major industries – fisheries and tourism – directly rely on the health of the marine ecosystem. Population growth, tourism upsurge, over-fishing and other environmental problems are all having an increasing and dramatic impact on the marine environment. The Maldives have an ecosystem characterized by high biodiversity but extremely delicate and subject to deep modifications due to global climatic changes and local anthropic pressures, such as fishing overexploitation and mass tourism, not forgetting the threat of higher temperatures and ocean acidification. Furthermore, in the last decades the Republic of the Maldives underwent complex changes in its socio-economical asset due to different factors: the constant increase of foreign investments in the tourism market; the dependency on oil producing Countries; and the introduction of new consumption models.
The Marine Research and High Education Center, in collaboration with the Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries, aims at blending technology, development and sustainability for the protection of the natural environment and the enhancement of human resources.