Major reclaimed areas in Malé Atoll are a preparation for environmental disaster towards the underwater habitats. As nature is naturally designed in its most fitting way, especially the islands. We won’t know, for example, how to design an island to look like Embudu. However, for countries such as Sri Lanka or India, they can develop the land as they do not have the lagoons.
We have enough islands and don’t see how the same islands need to go through that. But there are three factors affecting these activities; social, cultural and economics managing. In managing, social and cultural aspects are looked over by the indigenous people. It is not separated with tourism or any other aspect. The indigenous people face unjust in this management process. ‘At the end, we are going to die.’ That is what Shauna said in the last COP conference. ‘My grandchildren will not be able to have a family in the Maldives.’ I believe socio-cultural people face corruption injustice. From every disaster we face, the nature is telling us a story. In the Maldives, the nature is below the surface. It is not prioritized as much as it should be. I know all the Tourism and Environment Ministers that have come to pass in my 57 years of lifetime.
Most of the people going to negotiate regarding these matters are not people who are friendly around the sea. We need to go back to researches done by Maldives Marine Biologists in the late 70s and early 80s. They predicted that if we continue to keep on taking corals from the reefs, at some point it will be of scarce, and we will have to artificially produce corals. The same situation applies here. I have been living in B. Fulhadhoo for the past 5 years, and the harbor built here by the government has helped greatly to all the locals living in the island economically and socially. At times minimal damages done to the coral reefs are overlooked, as it is important to develop necessary infrastructure for the indigenous people living in inhabited islands.