The author wishes to express his sincere thanks to Mr. Abdullah Kamaludeen, Honourable Minister, Mr. Mohamed Zuhair, Deputy Minister, Mr. Mohamed Naseem, Ms. Michelle Ahmed and Mr. Hussain Faisal, all of the Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Marine Resources of the Maldives for lending their experience, knowledge and general support in preparing the book. Thanks are given to Mr. Mahir for assistance in collecting information on the traditional uses of plants listed in the book and to Mr. Mohamed Abubakuru and other staff of the Agriculture Research Centre, Hanimadhoo for hosting visits of the author. Thanks are also due to Mr. Nabeel and Mr. Ali Nishaman for assistance in collecting literature and field data.
This publication would not have been possible without the contributions of the Chiefs of atolls and islands visited during data collection and the community members who readily and generously shared their knowledge and experience relating to the sustainable utilization of the forest resources of the Maldives.
The author also thanks Dr. Ravishankar Thupalli, Chief Technical Advisor for the Maldives component of the Forestry Programme for Early Rehabilitation in Asian Tsunami Affected Countries (OSRO/GLO/502/FIN), for extending advice and support during the planning and preparation of this book. Ms. Susan Braatz and Mr. Jeremy Broadhead of FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific provided guidance and editing of inputs, and Mr. Winston Rudder and Mr.Yon Fernandez Larrinoa of FAO, Maldives gave support throughout the preparation period Dr. Simmathiri Appanah and Mr. M. Kashio of FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Mr. Oudara Souvannavong and Mr. Jim Carle of FAO Headquarters, Rome are acknowledged for reviewing and commenting on the manuscript. Dr. Narasimhan Duvuru, Madras Christian College, Chennai and Dr. N.Rama Rao, Botanical Survey of India are also thanked for their review of the nomenclature.
Thanks are given to Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman, Dr. M. Velayutham, Executive Director at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India for extending their full support.
Finally, gratitude is owed to the Government of Finland for providing the necessary funding support through the Forestry Programme for Early Rehabilitation in Asian Tsunami Affected Countries (OSRO/GLO/502/FIN).