White sandy beaches sparkling in the sun alongside crystal clear lagoons would be an idyllic place to spend a perfect holiday. While this is true in most aspects, the degree of fragility of our environment is gaining much attention within national and international levels.
The fragile marine and terrestrial environment including the reefs and bio-diversity would be greatly affected unless careful management of the environment is done. Our beauty and natural resources are strongly linked with economic development of the country. Such awareness has raised many concerns and the Government is taking extensive measures towards protecting the environment.
In 1989 the first National Environmental Action Plan was developed forming a base for future actions to prevent environmental hazards. Over exploitation of natural resources are restricted. For example coral mining is banned in certain areas. Killing of turtles, which is under threat of extinction, is banned and visitors are discouraged from buying objects made from turtle shell. The entire capital island is enclosed with sea walls, a protection measure to reduce the impending hazards of climatic change and sea level rise.
Projects on regeneration of ecosystems are conducted in some areas and a "Million Tree Programme" was initiated by former President Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 1996. Small nurseries are established in atolls to spread the programme countrywide and many trees are planted all over the country in an effort to "greening the environment". Sport fishing practiced by some islands is now confined to tag and release method.