With many resorts and guest houses closed, it is obvious that the Maldives will see the next few months without tourists. As a result, waste levels will dramatically decrease and the country’s ecosystem will benefit greatly during these undisturbed times.
Resorts are making the most of this time to regenerate corals, clean up beaches and deserted islands, and implement conservation projects. We have summed up below resort updates to keep you informed and look forward to what is waiting for our mutual guests at the end of the uncertain times.
Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu plans to enhance its sustainability and conservation efforts by opening The Marine Discovery center. This will be a platform for guests of all ages to learn, discover and interact with MUI (Maldives Underwater Initiative). The center will be equipped with a marine laboratory and workshop, an educational area for children with video presentation and virtual reality rooms, as well as an outdoor viewing deck for stargazing.
Here is a brief summary of some of the work the resort has planned over the coming period:
The MUI team will conduct a biodiversity survey along the house reef to ensure the data for the year remains valid. Turtle nesting season has started, so for the next 6 months. 3 green sea turtle nests have already been laid this year. These nest hatch 50 – 60 days after they are laid, so first batch of baby turtles are to be expected in May!
For the safety of the Laamu, the resort team has been kept in touch virtually with the local community and are planning big community events for the later half of the year including the annual Laamafaru festival.
Fasmendhoo Island, home to Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, just welcomed some adorable new creatures into the world: hawksbill sea turtles!
All sea turtles found in the Maldives including the hawksbill, olive ridley and green turtle, all have endangered status of some kind. To have this specific species of turtle hatching on the island is extremely good for the environment. The team of marine biologists at Emerald is extremely proud of this.
This wonderful journey began with a sea turtle came to the beach and found the perfect place to nest. Once it found a place dark enough and far enough from the high tide mark, it proceeded to lay down its eggs. This is a good sign for the island, because it means that the environment is still very natural.
Furthermore, the resort team will continue to stay in communication with local conservation organisations. Emerald practises no single-use of plastic, however they will be conducting lagoon clean ups for any plastic or rubbish that might have washed ashore.
Four Seasons continue to work on the sustainability and conservative initiatives that have been part of their DNA for sometime. We would like to highlight below three superb initiatives.
Comprising of 3,105 solar panels across the roof of the staff village at Landaa Giraavaru, this is one of the largest resort-based solar installations in the Maldives. It is estimated to save over 300,000 litres of diesel which corresponds to 650 – 800 tones of CO2 This CO2 reduction equates to the elimination of carbon emissions generated by approximately 544 flights between London and Male.
In 2010, single-use plastic bottles were eliminated at both resorts and replaced with glass bottles. To support this initiative, a water bottling plant was installed at each resort to produce still and sparkling water for their restaurants and villas. This initiative saves approximately 60,000 plastic bottles each month.
The propagation process at Four Seasons Resorts involves attaching coral fragments onto special designed coral frames to boost existing reef habitats and generate new ones. Reefscapers is also investigating ground-breaking clone selection research to help protect reefs against global warming.
In addition, both resorts have a Turtle Sanctuary (2 of only 4 in the Maldives) that has much success with rescue efforts, turtle hatchings and other science that the team of Marine Biologists report on weekly. Read more on the Turtle Conservation efforts at Kuda Huraa below.
Banyan Tree Marine Labs perform an interdisciplinary research project to advance the understanding of how to protect and preserve threatened shark species while mitigating impacts to local communities.
One of their long-term project is to monitor the Maldivian shark populations using baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs). Surveys led by UK researcher Danielle Robinson are being conducted at more than 100 sites in Banyan Tree properties in Maldives atolls. To date more than 350 sharks from 9 different species have been recorded.
Since 2016 Banyan Tree Marine labs has deployed over 500 BRUVs in the central Maldives recording more than 350 individual sharks. The most common species were reef associated sharks including the black-tip reef shark, nurse shark and white-tip reef shark. We have also recorded less common species including tiger sharks and silver-tip sharks. Click below to read the full article.