Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to undertake sea turtle nesting beach monitoring and protection activities in Vandhoo, Raa Atoll.
The environment ministry signed the MoU with Waste Management Corporation Limited (WAMCO) and the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to identify changes in the sea turtle population. The beach in Vandhoo will be monitored for one year as part of the agreement.
The ministry stated that Vandhoo is known as one of the islands in the Maldives where a large number of sea turtles visit to lay eggs. A sea turtle protection programme was also conducted in Vandhoo in 2014.
Furthermore, the environment ministry has held discussions with the Olive Radley Project on ways to increase the number of sea turtles in the Maldives. A survey on sea turtle breeding will be conducted in Vandhoo as part of the objective. It includes monitoring various areas of the island and protecting nesting sites. The relevant information will be collected and studied by the ministry. The programme also includes raising awareness about sea turtle breeding.
A pilot project had also been launched in Innamaadhoo, Raa Atoll, in 2021 as part of the sea turtle breeding programme in the Maldives. The ministry stated the study found that the number of sea turtles entering the island and laying eggs had decreased significantly.