16 years ago on this day, in 2004, the Maldives was hit hard by a wave of destruction that affected the entire population. It took just 15 minutes to make 10% of Maldives uninhabitable. The Indian Ocean Tsunami cost over 12,000 people their homes and thousands of sand all swept away. But this one island in Noonu Atoll was saved- all thanks to its mangroves.
Kendhikulhudhoo, a hidden beauty lying in the corner of Noonu is known for its stunning mangroves. This is one of the places where you’ll find the largest of northern mangrove wetlands. Regardless of these mangroves being so precious to us, protecting us against flooding and other natural disasters, they are now at great threat.
Mangroves are known to grow on at least 150 islands in the Maldives and you can find almost 13 species. Apart from being natural protection for the islands and people who live there, the mangroves are also home to many animals and plants. They’re important for recreational purposes and for commercial fishing. But as development takes over this developing economy, these mangroves are being damaged severely.
Earlier this year, it was reported that an unknown phenomenon was destroying the wetlands in the North of Maldives. But due to lack of knowledge and research on this, the root cause of this remains unknown up to date. Recently, Blue Marine Foundation conducted research on two islands in Laamu. Will the Maldives be able to save these valuable mangroves?
Make your pledge for Laamu here.