Environment Minister Thorig Ibrahim says there is no intention of legally freeing the EPA. Photo/President's Office

Environment Minister rules out chance of an independent EPA

In 2008, the EPA was created by presidential decree.

23 May 2024

By Aishath Fareeha Abdulla

There is no intention of making the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an independent body, Environment Minister Thorig Ibrahim said on Thursday.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the lower court's order to stop the dredging of the Gulhi lagoon. At the hearing, Supreme Court Justice Husnu Al-Suood said that the EPA needs to be made legally empowered and independent.

Meanwhile, former President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih had also said he will make the EPA an independent body. The government's Environment Minister Aminath Shauna told Parliament that the then government had fulfilled its promise to make the EPA an independent and authoritative body. However, it wasn't actually done, even at the end of the Solih government.

At the President’s Office conference held on Thursday to provide information regarding the Maldivian delegation set to attend the fourth Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) summit being held in North America  from 27 to 30 this month, the minister, was prodded by a journalist about what this government’s views were on the liberation of the EPA.

“[The government] has no intention of legally freeing the EPA yet,” Thorig had replied.

In 2008, the EPA was created by presidential decree. The agency is affiliated to the Ministry of Environment, but is a regulatory body with its own status, advised by a governing board.

The agency is responsible for enforcing the environmental laws of Maldives. However, the Minister has the power to change the decision of the EPA upon appeal.