Island council faces hefty fine for illegal tree removal
More than 500 coconut palms were removed from Lhaimagu island.
The environmental watchdog has decided to fine the island council of Lhaimagu in Shaviyani Atoll for the illegal removal of trees.
More than 500 coconut palms were removed from the northern island without the Environmental Protection Agency’s permission last October.
It was among several cases where trees were uprooted from inhabited islands for the landscaping of new resorts, an increasingly common practice dubbed by environmental activists as #MvTreeGrab.
An EPA official told the Maldives Independent that the Lhaimagu council’s fine would be between MVR150,000 to MVR200,000 (US$12,940).
The EPA had authorised the island council to clear out a 10,000 square feet area to be used as a waste collection area. Another area was to be cleared out to make a 30-foot wide road.
But the council also approved the removal of trees from a 20,000 square feet area to be developed as a park, according to the agency.