EIAs for land reclamation, coastal development are cut & paste: Infrastructure Minister Aslam

Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, Mohamed Aslam | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – The Minister of National Planning, Housing & Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam today stated that there is no political or public demand to understand the effect of development on the environment and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports are “cut and paste”.

The Infrastructure Minister Aslam stated this at a parliamentary questioning session, responding to a question about the ineffectiveness of coastal development by a parliamentarian.

“We don’t have solutions because have the know-how,” said Aslam.

Maldives finds out about the the destruction that follows harbour development, land reclamation after the fact.

Minister Planning, Housing & Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam

Minister Aslam also stated that the EIAs for development projects by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) are “cut & paste.” While environmental advocates have called out for the EPA to be independent, the incumbent government has decided to place the EPA under the authority of the Environment Ministry citing lack of resources.

The Minister Aslam stated that we have been developing coastal infrastructure for decades, with more destruction than benefits. The Infrastructure Minister added that the island nation does not have the public or political demand to study the environmental impact of infrastructure development.

“Politicians bow to the demand of the public [without heed to the experts],” said Minister Aslam.

Minister Aslam stated there are no ready-made solutions to the challenges the Maldives will face in the future with climate change and sea-level rise. The Minister stated that the government is exploring sustainable island infrastructure development methods.