Environmental organizations urge halt to Addu Development Project

Vilingili, Addu City. (Photo/Shangri-La)

Six non-governmental organizations have issued a joint statement urging an immediate stop to the Addu Development Project. 

The joint statement was released by Transparency Maldives, Save Maldives, Zero Waste Maldives, Maldives Resilient Reefs, Land Sea Maldives, and Ecocare Maldives on Tuesday evening. 

The organizations said that the Addu Development Project was designed in violation of Article 22 of the Constitution – which pertains to environmental protection – and would cause irrevocable damage to the environment of Addu City. 

They said that dredging for land reclamation as planned under the project would lead to sedimentation, threatening the marine life in the area. 

The organization said that the project would also impact the area in Addu designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 

“It’s clear that if the project proceeds with disregard to any of these factors, the reserve will get damaged and disappear. The report highlights that the project will also cause damage to the protected areas near where sand will be sourced for the project such as the Maakandu (Manta Point) and Kuda Kandu. Therefore, prolonged sedimentation in the areas where the sand will be sourced will lead to a decrease in mantas at the Manta Point, and will have an adverse effect on dolphins, turtles, stingrays, and other species of fish which inhabit the seas,” said the organizations in their statement. 

The organizations said that destroying the environment of the area to build another resort would not be of benefit to the people of Addu or the larger Maldives. 

They urged the government to ensure all development projects are conducted in a sustainable manner.