HRCM calls for stronger EIA procedures to protect environmental rights

Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has called for stronger procedures in the preparation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports for development projects, in order to protect environmental rights.

Speaking at a programme aired on PSM News, Vice President of HRCM Dr. Ahmed Adham Abdulla said environmental rights are integral towards the protection of basic human rights, as many rights are linked to the environment. As such, he noted the right to live and the rights to clean water, nutrition and good health cannot be ensured without protecting environmental rights.

The HRCM vice president further stated the regulations formed under the Environmental Protection Act are detailed and well-structured, although implementation and enforcement is not at the required level. He said the environmental risks presented by major infrastructure development projects need to addressed and countered better. He added this can be done by having stronger EIA procedures in place, which uses real-time scientific data to identify all potential risks and propose solutions to eliminate them in a long-term basis.

HRCM had earlier revealed the commission had received 9 different cases within the last year, related to environmental rights. HRCM said better coordination is required among all relevant authorities to remove the obstacles faced in protecting environmental rights.