Lh Atoll, Maldives — Five eco-rich sites in Lh Atoll have been declared as protected areas by the President.
President Ibrahim Solih decided to take the decision upon recommendation from his cabinet of ministers during an online meeting held on Tuesday.
The five sights that are declared as protected areas are Maagadhu (Anemone) Thila, Dhiffushi-Maadhoo, the northernmost island of the Atoll, Sellhifuhshi Island wetlands area, Maakoa Island, Vavvaru Island and Dhandifalhu Island reef and lagoon, Dhandifalhu Island sandbank and Dhashugiri Island sandbank.
A document revealed by the Ministry of Environment shared several reasons why these areas were recommended to be protected such as scientific research, first-hand reports from local fishermen and farmers and traditional knowledge from our ancestors passed down throughout the generations.
The Environment Minister, Hussain Rasheed Hassan further noted that there are two additional areas in the Atoll protected under the law of environmental protection and prevention. They are Fushithila area, protected on September 27, 1995, and Kuredhoo reef and lagoon (Kureddhoo express) area, protected on October 21, 1999.
Earlier, additional 14 areas have also been declared as protected sites by the Solih administration under Section 4 of the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act. They were from Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu, Shaviyani and Noonu Atoll in addition to ‘Farikede Faru,’ a marine site in Fuvahmulah City, and 4 sites from Addu city.
The Solih Administration has pledged to designate at least one island, one reef and one mangrove, in each atoll as protected areas.