Southernmost Addu City and Fuvahmulah City have been declared as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere reserves.
The announcement was made by UNESCO during the 32nd session of the International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the MAB governing body consisting of 34 Member States elected by UNESCO’s biennial General Conference, held on Wednesday.
Taking to Twitter following the designation, Maldives President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih congratulated the southernmost residents. Minister of Environment, Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan also joined in congratulating the people of Addu and Fuvahmulah.
Solih noted that this designation will help preserve the country’s diverse natural assets and went on to express gratitude to the IUCN Maldives, UNESCO and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for their assistance in this “wonderful” accomplishment.
Minister Hassan revealed that Addu City Council’s vision for sustainable development has earned the beautiful Atoll the status of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, highlighting that the ministry is privileged to be the facilitator in this process.
The government of Maldives made the decision to nominate the two cities the south of Maldives as biosphere reserves, during September 2019 after consultations with his cabinet of ministers.
The government reached the decision after coming to the conclusion that the submission will ensure sustainable protection and preservation of natural beauty and marine life in the two regions. It will also ensure planning to acquire its benefits are done in a sustainable manner, said the government.
Biosphere reserves are internationally recognized and will remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the nations they are located in and are deemed as regions with terrestrial and coastal ecosystems that promote solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.