The whole of the Maldives will become the first country in the world to become a marine reserve in a move scheduled to happen by 2017.
Marine reserve status for all 1,192 islands is likely to attract international investment in pilot schemes to explore new approaches to conservation and sustainability.
A number of islands in the Maldives are Biosphere Reserves.
In July 2011 Baa Atoll, which consists of 75 islands, was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the Government is working to ensure it maintains this status.
It is a model that can be replicated throughout the rest of the Maldives.
President Waheed, who made the commitment while addressing the recent Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development said,
"This commitment reflects our respect for our unique natural environment.
We have taken these measures to protect our coral reefs, lagoons, coral islands and coral sand beaches.
The Maldives will take any action necessary to ensure our future."