Island communities in the Maldives are experiencing environmental change on a daily basis due to coastal erosion, the accumulation of waste at sea and on beaches, and the rapid expansion of the built environment. Researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Reading in the UK, and the Maldivian NGO ENDEVOR, are working with these communities to understand how such changes affect day-to-day life, and to raise awareness of associated issues amongst decision makers in the national capital, Malé. An exhibition of 40 photographs taken by island inhabitants depicting the challenges they face in their daily lives was held at the National Art Gallery in Malé. The exhibition launch, attended by the photographers and policymakers, proved particularly effective in enabling island residents to raise their concerns and put forward their solutions.
In developing countries experiencing high levels of poverty and inequality, getting the balance right between economic development and protection of the natural environment can be a major challenge for policymakers. This project will use an innovative approach known as 'everyday studies': a way of investigating the routine and seemingly mundane.