President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced on Tuesday the designation of 12 ecologically precious areas in the Vaavu and Baa Atolls as protected sites.
This decision comes in the wake of a cabinet recommendation and follows thorough deliberations on a proposal submitted by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology.
The 12 areas set to receive protected status under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act have been chosen for their remarkable biodiversity and critical ecological significance. In the Vaavu Atoll, these areas include Kavarufalhu, Fohtheyo, Hingaakulhi Lagoon, Thuduhuraa, Ruh Huri Huraa, Rakeedhoo Corner, Fushifaru Reef, and Huraa Lagoon. In the Baa Atoll, the designated sites are Huraafaru, Dharavandhoo Thila, Nelivaru, and Innafushi.
Each of these areas is home to diverse fauna and marine species, making their protection essential for the well-being of both the local environment and future generations of Maldivians. The decision to protect these sites reflects the government’s commitment to preserving its unique natural heritage.
This action aligns with the administration’s Strategic Action Plan for 2019–2023, which stipulates the protection of a minimum of 10 percent of coral reefs and 20 percent of wetlands and mangroves across the Maldives. The Environmental Protection and Preservation Act also mandates safeguarding at least one island, one lagoon, one reef, and one wetland from every atoll in the country.
The move has been widely applauded by environmentalists and conservationists, who see it as a crucial step toward ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Maldives’ rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems.
As these 12 areas are granted protected status, the nation takes a significant step forward in the preservation of its natural treasures, reinforcing its commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability.