Maldives gives legal protection to four eco-rich sites in southernmost Addu atoll

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Tuesday designated four eco-rich sites in the southernmost Addu city as protected areas.

The president’s declaration, based on cabinet recommendations, covers:

  • Koda Kan’da and Kan’dihera
  • Maakilhi, Medhe-aara and Fehele kilhi, in Hithadhoo ward
  • Maafishi Kilhi (Keyvakaa Gon’do) in Hulhudhoo
  • Mathi kilhi area, at the intersection of Hulhudhoo and Meedhoo

In September 2019, these four environmentally significant sites were proposed to the UNESCO for consideration to be included in the UN agency’s list of Biosphere Reserves.

In a paper presented to the cabinet Tuesday, the environment ministry said that 97 per cent of Addu residents support the decision to declare the atoll a Biosphere Reserve.

The ministry also highlighted that this decision was made following consultations with stakeholder ministries, as well as offices and sectors involved in the development of Addu.

Cabinet ministers highlighted that the protection of these sites must factor in ongoing and planned developmental projects in the city.

The government earlier declared 11 areas from Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu, Shaviyani and Noonu atolls, as well as Farikede Faru, a marine site in Fuvahmulah, as protected sites.

It plans to designate as protected areas, at least one island, one reef and one mangrove, in each atoll.

Photo: A nature park in Addu. FILE PHOTO/ MIHAARU NEWS

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