Kendhoo MP Ali Hussain on Tuesday submitted a resolution to the parliament, calling to halt the uprooting of vegetation from inhabited and uninhabited islands, to be replanted at resorts.
This development comes amidst heavy public censure of authorities, over several cases of "tropical deforestation".
The resolution stressed the seriousness of the issue over the past four years, stating that uprooting of trees from areas, which were sanctioned to be cleared in islands for development projects, became commonplace after artificial islands were reclaimed in the lagoons leased for tourism in the notorious Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporations (MMPRC) scandal. The uprooted vegetation are transferred to the developing resorts for landscaping.
The resolution further claimed that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) were manipulated to green light the removal of large numbers of trees from natural tropical jungles and coastal vegetation on islands, in the name of projects such as ring road development, using loopholes in the regulations.
Among the islands listed in the resolution are Kelaa and Baarah in Haa Alif Atoll, and Foakaidhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, three of the most recent subjected to such deforestation.
The resolution stressed the negative repercussions on both the environment and people that would result from such actions. It called for the immediate amendment of the current regulation, and called to ensure that any vegetation that must be uprooted for a necessary project, must be replanted in the same island or within its immediate vicinity.
MP Hussain's resolution further urged to uncover what allowed such reckless removal of vegetation till date, and take necessary action.