In their joint statement the Civil society organizations (CSOs) of Maldives underlined the vulnerability of the island nation to the environmental shifts and climate change and emphasized the significant role of the environment in the two main industries, tourism and fisheries industry.
The CSOs stated their concern at the inaction against the environmental crimes being committed in the Maldives. Specifying the recent incident allegedly involving the Gili Lankanfushi resort staff digging a trench across a sandbank. The statement highlights the significance of access to the nation’s resources to small businesses and criticized the leniency given to luxury resorts.
The statement also mentions their dismay at the statement by Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) at the parliament hearing, that it is impossible for resorts to suddenly stop disposing waste into the ocean. The hearing was conducted to address a regulation of the Tourism Ministry that allows waste disposal directly into the ocean.
The CSOs called out the inaction against the attempted export of 480 Kgs of shark fin from Maldives which was widely covered by international media.
Maldives is a signee of various international environmental treaties and regulations, and the CSOs state their alarm at the current situation in the country. They called on the government to prosecute environmental crimes with under ecocide and give full support to the Environmental Protection Agency and establish the organisation as an independent identity without any undue influence.