President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on 25th June 2005 inaugurated the SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre. The Centre was declared open after the President unveiled the plaque carrying the Centre’s name.
In his speech at the ceremony, the President expressed his great pleasure and privilege in inaugurating the SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre. He also thanked the Ministers of Environment of SAARC countries, for their support, and expressed his appreciation to the SAARC Secretary General, Lyonpo Chekyab Dorji, and his staff for their assistance in realizing the project.
Noting that the centre had begun modestly, the President expressed his confidence that regional co-operation would however facilitate the achievement of its ambitious goals.
Pointing out that the SAARC region as a whole had vast resources of human and institutional capacity in the relevant scientific and technical fields, he went on to note that well-focused regional co-operation activities would therefore boost the operations of the centre in attaining its objectives.
The President expressed his confident that, with the collaboration of all SAARC countries, the institution would grow and mature into a leader in research and operations in the vital area of coastal zone management. He also expressed his hope that the centre would make a significant impact on the health of coastal ecosystems in the region.
In his speech at the ceremony, the Secretary-General of SAARC, Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji, noted that the centre had been established in the Maldives following the initiative of President Gayoom. He pointed out that the need for a SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre had been felt for a long time. He said that the establishment of the centre represented a landmark in regional cooperation. He also spoke on the importance that the President attached to environmental protection and preservation.
In his welcome speech, the Director at the SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre and Director, Environmental Research, at the Environment Research Centre, Dr. Mohamed Ali, said that the opening of the SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre was a historic occasion, and that the Maldives was proud to host the centre. He thanked the President for gracing the occasion and for realizing the hopes of the people to have a SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre.