MATI Backs EPA’s Decision to Halt Coastal Development Projects

Photo: Presidency Office

In a united front against the mounting threat of coral bleaching, the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) has thrown its full support behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent call to halt dredging and other coastal developmental activities.

The EPA’s announcement last Thursday announced that all major coastal development projects and activities will be halted until June 10th, 2024. This includes the suspension of land reclamation, dredging, beach nourishment, sand pumping, and the installation of pipelines and cables on reefs, as well as the construction of bund walls.

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Coral bleaching, exacerbated by rising sea temperatures, poses a significant threat to the Maldives’ renowned coral reefs and marine biodiversity. Highlighting that tourism serves as a linchpin of the nation’s economy, MATI stresses the urgent need for collaborative action in mitigating the impacts of this environmental crisis.

By endorsing the EPA’s directives, MATI calls upon all its members and stakeholders within the tourism industry to extend their full cooperation. The effective implementation of these measures, MATI believes, will play a crucial role in alleviating the severity of the current coral bleaching event, which experts have identified as one of the most severe on record.

According to the latest forecast from America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Maldives has reached Alert Level 1, with some areas of the southern and northern atolls expected to reach Alert Level 2 within the next four weeks.

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