The Minister of the Environment, Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan, committed the Maldives to the QCC, nominating Keylakunu mangrove site as one of its dedications.
Keylakunu is an uninhabited island located in the center of Haa Dhaalu Atoll. The wetland area of Keylakunu is continuous on the southeastern side of the island and covers almost 10% of the whole island.
The island has 100% primary forest cover with globally significant, huge Aviciennia marina (Grey Magrove- Baru) plants. The majority of the wetland area is inaccessible due to thick vegetation, but four species of mangrove plants were found in Keylakunu during a recent field survey; Rhizophora apiculata (Tall stilted mangrove – Thakafathi), Excoecaria agallocha (Milky mangrove – Thela), Bruguiera cylindrica (small-leafed orange mangrove – Kandoo) and Aenciennia marina (Grey Magrove – Baru).
The island of Keylakunu is an uninhabited island and is naturally very difficult to access due to absence of a lagoon, one of the reasons for the sustainability of the primary forest cover with minimal impacts. However, neighbouring islands of Kulhudhuffushi, Kumundhoo, Neykurendhoo, Vaikaradhoo, Kurinbi, Nolhivaran and Nolhivaranfaru visit Keylakunu in small numbers for resource gathering such as firewood, coconut, dry coconut palm leaves, and to harvest tropical fruits from the trees. Local people also use the island for picnics and camping.
The Minister of the Environment for the Maldives also dedicated a second site, Neykurendhoo Mangrove, to the QCC. You can find out more about this second project here.