Kendhoo MP Ali Hussain submitted a resolution to the parliament on Tuesday advocating for the replanting of vegetation from inhabited and uninhabited islands in resorts to be prevented.
This development comes in the wake of heavy public repression over several “tropical deforestation” cases.
The resolution highlighted the seriousness of the issue over the past four years, noting that the clearance of trees from areas that were approved for development projects in islands was routine after the reclaiming of artificial islands in the infamous Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporations (MMPRC) fiasco in the lagoons leased for tourism. The uprooted vegetation is transferred to the developing resorts for landscaping.
Furthermore, the resolution alleged that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) were engineered to greenlight by using loopholes in the legislation to remove large amounts of trees from natural tropical jungles and coastal plants on islands in the name of projects such as ring road growth.
Among the islands mentioned in the resolution are Kelaa and Baarah at Haa Alif Atoll, and Foakaidhoo at Shaviyani Atoll, three of the latest to be deforested.
The resolution emphasized the detrimental effects that would emerge from such acts on both the environment and people. This called for the immediate modification of the current regulation and called for any vegetation to be replanted on the same island or in its immediate vicinity, which must be de-rooted for a required project.
MP Hussain’s resolution further urged that what made such reckless destruction of vegetation to date be discovered and that appropriate action be taken.