The Maldivian Democratic Party strongly condemns the Maldives Government’s decision to blast the coral reef of Meedhoo, Addu City using dynamite, a practice that has been restricted and discontinued in the Maldives for over a decade due to its negative impact on the environment.
Such practices by the Government inflicts serious and permanent damage the coral reef and the already fragile surrounding environment. Using dynamite to blast coral reefs is extremely risky and may cause irreversible damage to the surrounding reefs and the the island, especially in the absence of impact evaluation.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted on the project to dredge the channel between the islands of Meedhoo and Ismahelahera states blasting of the reef using dynamite should not be used and must seek alternatives. Disregarding the EIA recommendations, it is deeply worrying the Minister of Environment has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve the use of dynamite to blast the reef in Meedhoo.
With these actions, the Government is also yet again reneging on its international commitments. We cannot allow for such harmful practices to continue to endanger the coral reefs, which is the country’s only natural defence against tidal swells and other natural disasters. Healthy coral reefs are paramount in protecting our islands, the marine life and the livelihoods nurtured by these coral reefs and marine life.
While the coral reefs are under serious threat this year due to an extreme episode of the El Nino which is responsible for 60% of coral reef bleaching, it is deeply troubling the Maldives government is engaged in activities that will further cause irreversible damage to the reefs.
The MDP urges the Maldives Government to respect its international commitments and be mindful of the impact these actions will have on the future of these islands and the quality of life of the Maldivian people.
Furthermore, the MDP urges our development partners to impress upon the Government of Maldives to abide by its commitments under international law as well as its responsibilities under the chairmanship of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). While the Maldives and small island states must receive funds for adaptation, recipients must also lead through concrete action both at home and abroad.