12 sites in Vaavu and Baa atolls receive protection status

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (C) attends a cabinet meeting on October 10, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Total 12 ecologically significant areas in V. Atoll and B. Atoll have been designated as environmentally protected areas.

The decision was made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Tuesday. It follows the cabinet's recommendation, and made after deliberations on a paper submitted by the Environment Ministry.

The 12 areas granted protected status under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act are:

  • V. Kavarufalhu
  • V. Fohtheyo
  • V. Hingaakulhi Lagoon
  • V. Thuduhuraa
  • V. Ruh Huri Huraa
  • V. Rakeedhoo Corner
  • V. Fushifaru Reef
  • V. Huraa Lagoon
  • B. Huraafaru
  • B. Dharavandhoo Thila
  • B. Nelivaru
  • B. Innafushi

According to the President’s Office, each of these areas been identified as having rich ecosystems that host various fauna and marine species.

Their preservation is deemed crucial for future generations of Maldivians.

Protecting the sites aligns with the Maldivian administration's Strategic Action Plan 2019–2023, which mandates the protection of at least 10 percent of coral reefs and 20 percent of wetlands and mangroves.

The Environmental Protection and Preservation Act also stipulates the protection of at least one island, one lagoon, one reef, and one wetland from each atoll.