The Minister of the Environment, Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan, committed Maldives to the QCC, nominating Neykurendhoo Mangrove as one of its dedications.
Neykurendhoo is located towards the centre of Haa Dhaalu Atoll. With a land area of 169.3 hectares and a residential population of 859, the island is among the larger islands in this area.
The wetland area of Neykurendhoo is continuous on the eastern side of the island. The entire wetland is estimated to cover an area of 28.3 hectares, which is 16.7% of the whole island, while the protected area covers 71.87 hectares. The volume of water catchment in the wetland grows during wet season with heavy rainfall and shrink during the dry season.
Four species of mangrove plants were found in a recent survey of Neykurendhoo; Lumnitzera racemosa (Black mangrove – Burevi), Excoecaria agallocha (Milky mangrove – Thela), Bruguiera cylindrica (small-leafed orange mangrove – Kandoo) and Xylocarpus moluccensis (Puzzle Nut tree/Cannonball tree – Marugas).
In mid 2020, some mangrove on the island died due, likely due to disease, pests and a prolonged dry season. However, due to low accessibility, most of the vegetation remains intact and anthropogenic threats remain minimal.
The Minister of the Environment for Maldives also dedicated a second site, Kelyakunu Mangrove, to the QCC. You can find out more about this second project here.