President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has said that despite the decision to make the Maldives the largest marine reserve in the world, a relevant plan had not been compiled yet, but stressed that such a plan would come into being soon.
In a news conference held at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) upon his return from Brazil after concluding his trip to attend the Rio+ Summit, President Waheed said that he had announced the decision to make Maldives the largest marine reserve as it was deemed as the ideal moment for such an announcement.
He said that he had announced the decision at the Rio+ summit as he believes that the Maldives can achieve this goal in the coming five years. “The announcement was made as it was the most opportune stage” President Waheed said.
President Waheed said his predecessor former President Mohamed Nasheed had announced his decision to make Maldives a carbon neutral country without proper plans.
Waheed said that to make Maldives a marine reserve was long overdue and that being recognized for such a label would help in acquiring international assistance. He also said that our coast guard could benefit by working with the counterparts of other countries to help defend our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and that the World Bank would assist us in gathering funds for this project.
President said that the plan for the marine reserve would be compiled by taking our fisheries industry in to consideration and by mitigating the impact on our fisheries and environment.
He said that the Rio+ summit had primarily focused on the smaller countries but not that the summit had concluded without much commitment from the larger nations.
“It is important that the commitments and assistance by the larger countries be specified. The details were expected in the documents before the conference concluded, yet it was not there.” Waheed said.
He further stated that many countries are pleased with the situation in Maldives after the end of (former President) Nasheed’s rule. If this happened to another country, a civil unrest would have been on the cards, yet the international community is satisfied with the situation in Maldives.