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Noo Raajje Program Adds Three Team Members Ahead of Public Launch

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Maldivian Program dedicated to a thriving Blue Economy and environmental protection brings on three experienced staff to guide goals and objectives for the future

Malé, Maldives Noo Raajje has increased its capacity and expertise with the addition of three new staff: Fathimath “Nisthu” Nistharan as Site Manager, Moosa Zameer Hassan as Program Coordinator, and Maeesha Mohamed as Administrative Coordinator.


Formed in September of 2019, Noo Raajje is a partnership between the Government of the Maldives and the Blue Prosperity Coalition to protect and better value the ocean and its resources in order to build a bright future for communities, the economy, and the environment. The program will have a virtual public launch on December 16 at 9:00PM MVT which will be livestreamed on Facebook and national television on Television Maldives PSM and Raajje TV. The event will provide information on the program goals, its partners, and how Noo Raajje can support all Maldivians through ocean management and planning. The launch will feature remarks from H.E.P. President Solih, Hon. Minister Zaha Waheed, Hon. Minister Uz. Fayyaz Ismail.


“The ocean is an integral part of the Maldivian identity. It provides us with a haven within which we create our homes. It is the bloodline and livelihood of Maldivians. Noo Raajje is a platform for the empowerment of marine science, ocean literacy, and conservation efforts, in support of the Blue Economy initiative and effective ocean management. We are committed to realizing the objectives of this program to ensure our oceans and our people are healthy for future generations.”

– Minister Zaha Waheed, Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture


The Team

Fathimath “Nisthu” Nistharan

In previous roles, Nisthu supported the government in establishing Rasdhoo-Madivaru Protected Area, developed cartography for the Maldives as a Biosphere Reserve Plan, and coordinated between the various government agencies to aggregate spatial data for the Maldives National GIS Database. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management in Sustainable Development from Bond University, Australia and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Science specializing in Software Engineering from Asia Pacific Institute for Information Technology, Malaysia. As Site Manager, she will be the primary on-the-ground liaison with the Waitt Institute, responsible for all general management of the Maldives Noo Raajje program.

Moosa Zameer Hassan

Moosa Zameer Hassan is well-acquainted with public administration, strategic planning, tourism development, and environmental management, having extensive experience working for the Maldives Civil Service. He holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning specializing in Tourism Planning from the International Islamic University Malaysia and a Bachelor of Science (Hon) in Environmental Science from the Bristol University of the West of England, UK. As Program Coordinator, he will be focusing on identifying opportunities that help to maximize government involvement in Noo Raajje activities to ensure comprehensive planning.

Maeesha Mohamed

Maeesha Mohamed previously worked for The Manta Trust as Assistant Project Manager for Thaa and Laamu Atolls, conducting research, community outreach, and education for conservation initiatives. She has also interned with IUCN Maldives, the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, and worked as the Liaison Officer and Coral Component Coordinator for the Climate Change Adaptation Project, which is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and administered by the World Bank. She has extensive coral reef monitoring and database management experience, which will aid her work as Administrative Coordinator for the Noo Raajje. Her responsibilities include supporting the Site Manager and Program Coordinator to ensure efficient information exchange between President’s Office, Ministry of Fisheries Marine Resources & Agriculture, and the Waitt Institute throughout the diverse activities of the program.


“People are at the heart of our environment; our health and wellbeing is interlinked with the health of our marine environment. With the support of the people, Noo Raajje program can succeed in protecting our ocean resources so our communities can thrive.”

– Fathimath Nistharan, Noo Raajje Site Manager


Noo Raajje is committed to building a thriving blue economy and protecting important marine habitats for the future of the Maldives. In light of the COVID19 pandemic, the program is working to ensure that recovery of the economy is in partnership with protection and recovery of the environment. The program goals are to:

  • Safeguard ocean resources and restore coral ecosystem health;

  • Sustainably grow ocean industries;

  • Strengthen the Maldives’ position in managing shared Indian Ocean tuna stocks; and

  • Protect at least 20% of Maldives' waters as fully protected MPAs.

The program will also promote the advancement of Maldivian ocean science and stewardship through research, education, capacity building, and outreach, including collaborating with and providing support to local scientists and civil society. This was particularly important during the February 2020 Scientific Expedition, which surveyed 16 atolls over 26 days, building upon the extensive research from the Government and the Maldives Marine Research Institute. Two more expeditions are planned for Spring 2021 to gather additional information in the Southern Atolls, with the report of the first expedition expected to be released to the public in early 2021.

The Noo Raajje program staff are based in the Maldives with international support from the Blue Prosperity Coalition and the Waitt Institute. The program is led by the Government of the Maldives, including the President's Office and the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, and in partnership with government agencies including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Tourism, the Environment Protection Agency, and the Maldives Marine Research Institute.


Learn more at www.nooraajje.org.

For more information, please contact:

Fathimath Nistharan | fnistharan@waittinstitute.org

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