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Three eco-rich sites declared environmentally protected areas

The sites were Keylakunu and the wetlands and mangroves of Neykurendhoo and Baarah.



President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has decided to declare three eco-rich sites in the northernmost atolls as environmentally protected conservation areas.

The sites include the island of Keylakunu in Haa Dhaal atoll, along with its reef and lagoon, and the wetlands and mangroves of the islands of Neykurendhoo and Baarah in Haa Alif atoll.

The decision was made following discussions on a paper presented by the environment ministry at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

The three sites will be protected under the Environment Protection and Preservation Act.

“Prior to the Cabinet meeting, a Cabinet working session was held where presentations were delivered on the issue by environment experts,” according to the president’s office.

“Members were briefed on the unique and rich eco-systems at the sites, and the urgency to conserve the areas.”

Protecting at least one island, one reef, and one wetland from each atoll is part of a first 100-day action plan of the new administration.

Three biodiversity hotspots were declared protected areas during the transition period after the September 23 presidential election.

The previous administration came under fire from environmental activists over large-scale dredging of lagoons and the reclamation of the Kulhudhuffushi mangrove.