The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on Wednesday, fined the island council of Lhaimagu , Shaviyani Atoll, for illegally clearing a large number of coconut palms from the island.
EPA tweeted that Lhaimagu Council was fined under the Regulation on Environmental Liabilities. These regulations are set in place to prevent violations of the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act and ensure compensation for any damages.
As per the law, the severity of the violation and financial benefits received by the perpetrator will be considered when determining a fine. EPA did not reveal the specific amount that was imposed on Lhaimagu Council.
In October 2018, it surfaced that Lhaimagu Island Council had uprooted more than 500 coconut palm trees from three areas. The Director-General of the EPA, Ibrahim Naeem, had stated that this included a region which the council did not have authority to clear.
He stated that the island council was only given permission to clear vegetation from an area of 10,000 square feet to build a landfill site and a road leading up to it, which was to measure 400 feet in length and 30 feet in width.
Despite this, Naeem stated that the council had illegally cleared 20,000 square feet to make way for a park.
While EPA has fined Lhaimagu for illegal vegetation clearance, the agency has also started to publicize the names of individuals who litter in the capital city of Male’.