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The Environment Minister attends UN Ocean Conference as the President’s representative

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The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Aminath Shauna, on Monday, attended the interactive dialogue 1 entitled “Addressing Marine Pollution” at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference. She is in Lisbon, Portugal, as the special representative of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and will deliver a statement at the conference on his behalf.

Speaking at the interactive dialogue held today, Minister Shauna said that the lives and livelihoods of Maldivian people are dependent on the health of marine and coral reef systems.

She highlighted that the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the Strategic Action Plan 2019–2023 adopted by President Solih’s administration pledged to protect at least 10 per cent of the Maldives’ coral reefs, 20 per cent of wetlands and mangroves, and other representative reef habitats from each atoll by 2023. She added that the Maldives has already declared 79 areas as legally protected, accounting for almost 14 per cent of the Maldives’ coral reefs.

Regarding plastic pollution, Minister Shauna stated that it has risen exponentially in the last decades, amounting to approximately 400 million tonnes per year. Voicing her concerns, she cited that only nine per cent of plastic waste is recycled while the rest is disposed of in landfills and the environment, including the oceans.

“Micro-plastics have been detected in marine species and even in our blood. Vulnerable natural systems such as ours are affected by plastic pollution leading to loss of species and habitats,” she said.

Minister Shauna also discussed the Maldives’ contribution to combating marine plastic pollution, emphasising the ban on the import, production, and sale of 13 types of single-use plastics, as well as a renewed emphasis on alternatives, waste segregation, and promotion of recycling and waste reduction.

The Minister also expressed the Maldives’ support for strengthened multilateral action, and welcomed the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly’s call to establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.

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JP says citizen’s rule can only be maintained through presidential system

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Leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) Qasim Ibrahim has stated that citizen’s rule can only be maintained through a presidential system. The leader of the government coalition party made the statement at a time when President of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed is seeking support for his proposal to establish a parliamentary system in the Maldives.

In the tweet, Qasim highlighted the importance of maintaining a presidential system, as the president and the parliament members are elected directly by the people. He said that the prime minister, who rules in a parliamentary system, is not chosen by the electorate.

President of MDP Nasheed has said he will propose amendments to the Constitution of the Maldives at the party congress, in order to establish a parliamentary system in the country. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, along with some cabinet ministers and political leaders, has voiced opposition to establishing a parliamentary system.

Source: psmnews

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Gabon confers Distinguished Award to Maldivian Foreign Minister

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The Government of Gabon has conferred the National Order of Merit of the Gabonese Republic to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid.

The National Order of Merit of the Gabonese Republic was conferred to Minister Shahid by President Ali Bongo Ondimba at a ceremony held in Libreville, Gabon. The award was introduced in 1971 and is given to outstanding servicemen in various fields. Minister Shahid is currently in Gabon on an official visit as the UNGA president.

The Maldives established foreign relations with Gabon on March 20, 2008. This year marks the 14 years since the establishment of relations between the two countries.

Source: psmnews 

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Barge fined USD6.5 million after running aground on reef of Maagulhi

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a USD6.5 million after a barge ran aground on the reef of Maagulhi, Thaa Atoll, on May 1.

The incident occurred when the barge, AM Agam, carrying raw construction material from India to Raakeedhoo, Vaavu Atoll, ran aground on the reef of Maagulhi. The barge was travelling alongside a tugboat called, AM Alfet.

EPA stated that it had conducted a joint survey with the owner of the barge to determine the extent of the damage to the reef after the vessel was refloated. The survey showed that 6,054sqm of the area incurred huge damages worth almost USD10 million. However, the owner was levied the legally allowed maximum fine of USD6.5 million.

EPA stated that it has informed the local agent of the vessel, Mainland Shipping Private Limited, to pay the fine within 30 days. The agency is also working with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on legal matters concerning the incident.

Source: psmnews

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