President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Tuesday, decided to designate four eco-rich sites in Addu City as protected areas.
Upon recommendation by the cabinet, the president will designate the areas of Koda Kan’da and Kan’dihera in Addu City, Maakilhi, Medhe-aara and Fehele kilhi in Hithadhoo, Maafishi Kilhi’ (Keyvakaa Gon’do) in Hulhudhoo, and Mathi kilhi at the intersection of Hulhudhoo and Meedhoo, as protected areas.
These four environmentally significant sites in the southernmost atoll of Maldives were already submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on September 30, 2019, for consideration to list as Biosphere Reserves of Addu City.
During a cabinet session, the Ministry of Environment revealed that 97 percent of Addu residents support the decision to declare Addu City a biosphere reserve.
The ministry further highlighted that this decision was made following consultations with stakeholder ministries, as well as offices and sectors involved in the development of Addu. Ministers highlighted that the protection of these sites must factor in ongoing and planned developmental projects in the city.
The Solih administration earlier declared 11 areas from Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu, Shaviyani and Noonu Atoll in addition to ‘Farikede Faru,’ a marine site in Fuvahmulah City, as protected sites under Section 4 of the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act of Maldives (Act No: 4/93), in accordance with the administration’s strategic action plan.
Designating at least one island, one reef and one mangrove, in each atoll, as a protected area is one of President Solih’s pledges.