in the most
Creating a circular economy is extremely important in isolated regions in the world. Converting wastestreams into a valueable resource for local production is ideal.
Sharing knowledge by providing education and innovation to lower dependency on other countries.
Enhancing local economy by creating jobs for local communities. Involving the people is of great importance.
Maldives matter project
About our foundation
Why we do this
We have the responsibility of taking care of the planet. When we finished a project on the Maldives and experienced the need for action, we stepped in.
We formed a plan to solve the problems that the Small Island Development States are facing: the Resilient Island Foundation was born. Developing concepts to plan, plans to reality and focussing on three pillars: sustainability, impact and economic feasibility.
This results in a large scale and financial feasible project with a big impact. The profits will be used to solve the other problems that require financial investments.
Problems such as the solid waste management, plastic soup, coral bleeching, protecting animal habitats, marine environments and safegarding islands from floodings.
Contribute to circularity
We aim to implement circular economies regarding food and waste streams in the world’s most isolated regions: the Small Island Developing States. By realizing local and sustainable food production, generating renewable energy, creating circular food and waste streams, upcycling materials, conducting a knowledge transfer and enhancing the local economy by providing jobs, we try to bring more independency towards these Island States.
Two major issues and 60 design solutions. In collaboration with the United Nations, TU Delft developed a design brief for students of the master architecture track during the autumn semester of 2017. The objective is to introduce an architectural setting to implement a new infrastructure in both waste management and food production on the Maldives.
During the study project a group of students set up the Maldives Matter committee in order to organise a field research. In two months the students successfully planned an one-week trip to the Maldives with the help of multiple sponsors, where they met local people, island councils, architecture students at their university in Malé and could face the agriculture and waste problem.
Meet our team
A project that goes further than just a standard solution intrigues Melchior. Attention to details and combining multiple aspects are what keep Melchior busy. During his many dives all across the globe, including the Maldives, he experienced first-hand the problematic and dire conditions. Working on this integral solution project is, therefore, in line with what he stands for.
During his life, Sebastiaan has travelled in more than fifty countries, visited hundreds of foreign cities and did more than 30 long-distance hikes through nature. He felt the urge and saw the need for a change in the world. During his study of Architectural Engineering he aimed to make a theoretical change and now his drive is to implement this in a practical way as a project leader.
Stan van Stralen
Stan always had the desire to add something positive to this world. After being confronted to the dire situation of the Maldives during the field trip in 2017, it kept him motivated to continue where the study project ended. The situation on the Maldives shows the devious way materials are handled, but also gives an opportunity to rethink this.
Trang felt immediately engaged with this project because of her interest in circularity and the environmentally conscious lifestyle. After visiting the Maldives and meeting the locals, it became clear that tackling a real problem like climate change and at the same time changing the social awareness is the challenge that has given great opportunities that without doubt need to be seized.
Thomas is eager to have a positive impact on the world. It’s not always that such a beautiful and clear opportunity arises. Here, Thomas can put to work what he has learned in his education and learn much more in the process. Hence, working on the Maldives Matter Project is a no-brainer for him.
Wessel de Graaf
Wessel de Graaf has an interest not only in sustainability projects, but also their social implications and impact. Hitchhiking from the Netherlands to China within 6 months broadened his enthusiasm and interest in other cultures even more. After being introduced to RIF through his studies, he decided to continue his involvement with the Maldives.
Quinten coincidentally came into contact with the Resilient Island Foundation. By giving a brief pitch how he could contribute to the project, it showed his assertive attitude and he became part of the team. His expertise lies in IT and website building.
Sustainable Development Consultant
Azfa has been involved with the project since the collaboration between the United Nations and the TU Delft. After working for 7 years for the UN, she is now a independent sustainable consultant. Azfa supports the contact between the Netherlands and the Maldives. In the board of advisors her field of expertise lies in the social implementation.
Former Global Head of Finance at ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Amit has more than 20 years of international finance and banking experience, strongly believes in performance culture where people matter and results count. Within the board he is the advisor regarding finance and business.
Owner and CEO Koppert Cress
Rob Baan is a renowned entrepreneur within the agri-food world. He worked in 70 countries and became a number one expert in this field. He is constantly striving for solution based approaches, understanding cultures and diving into what really matters: help to make the world more healthy. Within the board he is the advisor for entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector.
Managing director Accenture
Throughout Ray’s career, innovation, technology and business always went hand-in-hand. First at KPN and the Dutch knowledge institution TNO and the last 12 years as Managing Director at Accenture, a global consultancy and technology firm, where he supports teams and clients with moving into-the-new. Within the advisory board he supports the team on the topic of strategic business development.
Frequently asked questions
We’re always on the lookout for people with expertise suitable for realizing this project and people or parties eager to collaborate with us. Do you have expertise and/or financial funds to get us through the first stage; and are willing to help the world? Contact us! Towards anyone else: spread the word!
Currently we’re working on a feasibility study: finalizing both technical, financial and social matters. After this phase we’ll be looking for investors.
Warm weather, flooding and storms are part of the context in which the greenhouse is designed. Obviously this influences the decision making for the location, building-materials and design. With a background in Architecture (architectural engineering) this is exactly what our team is trained for. Together with technical parties and local parties we’re working hard on this challenge. To be honest: that’s part of what makes this project fun.
Greenhouses exist in all types of climate: From the cold Russian climate to Australian deserts. The greenhouse is a means to create a (climate) controlled environment, suited for the crops being grown. Since the Maldives does not have a climate suited for the crops that being consumed, we aim to create that condition: a greenhouse.
As people with a background in architectural engineering we have always learned to tackle complex problems in an creative and solution-driven approach. After actually visiting the Maldives during a research trip, we couldn’t possibly ignore the affection towards these problems.
The solution-driven approach is something we were educated in. This we put into practice by tackling issues at their core, not just fighting their symptoms.
We strive towards a direct effect. What distinguishes us from conventional companies and organisations is that we’re unbound and therefore have a fresh and different approach. We strive towards a better world.
We think both ways are crucial for the project.
Bottom up: Social implementation, endorsement and willingness from the local communities are crucial. Their wishes and demands are essential part of the project.
Top down: Secondly we also work with the (national) government and further stakeholders in the Maldives and abroad. Top parties like these are also needed to realise such a project.
Participation and partnership with stakeholders on all levels are what make an integral solution like this possible.
The current rich tourism industry holds a consistent import of food, thus they don’t see an urgent demand. However, we believe that this can happen more sustainable, healthier and cheaper.
No! With our greenhouse we will grow fruits and vegetables of high quality that they cannot grow with the current climate. So instead of importing these fruits and vegetables we will grow them locally.
The Maldivian community has been involved in the project from the very beginning, on all levels: Island councils, national government, local stakeholders, job-creators and island communities. Their wishes are represented and a considered a crucial part of the project. The Maldives Matter Project makes direct impact by creating many jobs, mostly directly related to work in and around the greenhouse. Proliferating in other sectors such as transport and managerial jobs. It’s the local communities that will benefit from created jobs, enhancing SDG 1 and SDG 8.
Generating new jobs, and improving existing jobs is part of creating fruitful future for the Maldives and other Small Island Developing States.
The Maldivian landscape is ever changing. Sea-level rise is something the Maldives are familiar with. Luckily the government is investing in safe-islands and other measures. If it’s up to us, in 50 years the country has its own sustainable food production, catering to the always important tourism sector. Al the while managing and processing its solid waste sustainably: from waste to wealth. Being inhabited by its people, protected and living in climate-resilient communities.
The Maldives will be the ultimate showcase in regards of circular economy, sustainable food production and a closed solid waste management loop for all island states: a resilient island.