ECOCARE Maldives Advocates for Keylakunu Preservation Amid Government’s Eco-Tourism Agenda

ECOCARE Maldives, a non-profit environmental organisation, emphasises the imperative of conserving Keylakunu Island’s unique ecosystem amidst the government’s proposal to establish it as an eco-tourism hub.




Malé, Maldives – ECOCARE Maldives, a prominent non-profit environmental organisation, renews its plea for the safeguarding of Keylakunu Island’s distinct ecosystem following the government’s proposal to transform it into an eco-tourism destination.


Situated within the Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Keylakunu Island boasts a remarkable Avicennia marina forest, unmatched by any other island globally. This extraordinary feature contributes significantly to the island’s biodiversity, highlighting its paramount importance for conservation efforts.


Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, the Principal Secretary to the President on Public Policy, recently unveiled plans for an eco-tourism venture in The Maldives, which includes the construction of floating villas on the lagoon.


“Carefully deliberated by the Visitor Economic Council, the proposal entails the establishment of floating accommodations for island visitors, meticulously designed to minimise adverse impacts on the coral reefs,” affirmed Ibrahim, under the leadership of President Mohamed Muizzu.


In response, Maeed Mohamed Zahir, ECOCARE Maldives’ Director of Advocacy, underscored Keylakunu’s ecological significance. “We reiterate our 2017 plea to preserve the island in its natural state, given its ecological importance,” Zahir emphasized.


“The island stands as the sole wild mangrove forest in the Maldives,” Zahir told Maldives Republic.


The government’s blueprint also outlines the development of an environmentally friendly visitor centre, offering historical insights about the island. Notably, this initiative echoes a previous attempt by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, which faced criticism from ECOCARE Maldives.


“We advocate for the island’s protection and designation as a biosphere reserve to ensure its conservation for future generations. Preserving such significant environmental hotspots necessitates limiting human influence,” asserted Zahir.


Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration had initiated efforts to bolster tourism in the northern region, including the expansion of Hanimaadhoo International Airport. Solih had also declared Keylakunu Island, along with its reef and lagoon area, as protected zones on 25 December 2018.


Keylakunu Island’s distinctive Avicennia marina forest and thriving mangrove ecosystem underscore its significance for environmental conservation. Established in 1994, ECOCARE Maldives remains committed to safeguarding The Maldives‘ environment and actively engages in global climate initiatives.


About ECOCARE Maldives


ECOCARE Maldives, founded in 1994, is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to environmental protection and sustainable development in the Maldives. Committed to preserving the nation’s natural heritage, ECOCARE Maldives actively engages in advocacy, education, and conservation initiatives.


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