The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be able to independently carry out its mandate and it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that this is so’. These remarks were made President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during an event held at the National Arts Gallery, celebrating our environmental heritage, entitled ‘Our Environment throughout history.

Speaking during this ceremony the President expressed that one of the core priorities of his administration’s environmental policy is ensuring that the EPA is practically empowered to carry out all its legal responsibilities, without the undue influence. He also spoke on the special attention that the Government accords to ‘Environment Day’, reflecting the high importance we place on maintaining the country’s beauty and natural resources for the coming generations.

He highlighted some of this Government’s policy initiatives demonstrating the Government’s commitment to the environment, including reviewing policies and legislation pertinent to the green tax so that the revenue generated will henceforth be used entirely for environmental protection. Further, whilst acknowledging that the Maldives is still a developing country and that this Government will development projects across the entire country, he emphasized that special care must be taken to preserve ecosystems and the country’s natural beauty. He reiterated that this is why it is essential that the EPA must be allowed to impartially assess all projects with regard to their environmental impact, and that development projects should only be implemented with their approval.