The Maldives is brimming with officials, locals, and resorts that are passionate about protection.
AS THE WORLD CHANGES and evolves, sustainability becomes an ever-more-important topic.
The Maldives has always taken green living, reusing, upcycling and sustainability seriously. With fishing and tourism as its two main industries, the environment is vitally important to the communities in their country and their continued livelihood, employment, food and water security.
Fishing is still one of the main income sources for Maldivians, and the country is a world leader in pole-and-line tuna fishing. To keep the practice sustainable, tuna fishing in the Maldives is restricted to the one-by-one method, meaning that a fisherman can only use a single hook and line to catch one fish at a time.
To further the efforts, many of the country’s luxurious one-island-one-resorts, boutique hotels, chic island guesthouses, and liveaboards have launched sustainability efforts aimed at erosion prevention, raising awareness, and coral conservation.
Diamond Resorts collaborated with the Bicocca University of Milan to protect the marine life around its resort. Its Coral Conservation Project lets visitors learn from marine biologists and actively participate by adopting a coral frame.
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa’s coral propagation program also offers frame adoption and allows guests to watch their corals take shape over months.
For its part, the Maldivian government vowed to protect a minimum of one reef, one mangrove and one uninhabited island from each atoll.
Resorts and Support
Sustainability is just as important to the country’s resorts, which know that natural beauty, thriving ecosystems and tranquil atmosphere are what draw visitors. Here are a few Maldivian resorts that are working hard toward ensuring a safe and sustainable future for tourism in the Maldives
Six Senses Laamu is home to the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), among the country’s largest resort-based marine biology teams. The initiative is a collaborative effort between Six Senses Laamu’s marine biologists and three partner NGOs, the Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation and the Olive Ridley Project.
In 2021, the MUI presented years’ of research on the need for marine protection in Laamu Atoll. In response, the Maldivian President announced protection for six areas advocated for by the team.
Visitors can join many of the MUI’s activities, including nightly marine conservation presentations, weekly reef cleaning, guided snorkel outings, visiting seagrass meadows and reefs, dolphin cruises, kids club activities and scuba diving led by a marine biologist.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu was one of the frontrunners in the race to remove single-use plastic water bottles. When the resort opened in 1998, one of its unique amenities was that it had an on-property glass water bottling plant and they are still top-notch recyclers with facilities to process aluminum and crush glass as well as an organic waste enzyme composter.
But the resort is most famous for housing the Olive Ridley Project’s first Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, the only rescue center in the Maldives led by veterinarians. Their important activities include removing discarded fishing nets — known as ‘ghost nets’ — from the ocean, rescuing and rehabilitating injured sea turtles, recycling marine debris, and educating the world on the situation of sea turtles.
Joali Being has thoughtful, community-minded initiatives to increase access to medical care and clean drinking water for Raa Atoll locals. With outreach programs aimed at fighting climate change, overfishing, and overdevelopment, they work with representatives from the Raa Atoll Council, island councils, women’s development committees, schools, police stations, and active local NGOs to enact change.
Crossroads Maldives features a Marine Discovery Centre led by expert marine biologists. Visitors can enjoy a range of educational activities, from a clownfish release program to tuna discovery scuba diving. The centre is ingeniously designed to showcase local arts and crafts alongside terrific exhibits, including a coral reef walk-through.
No matter which facet of sustainability draws you in, there is a resort making strides forward for the cause where you can learn from passionate professionals who truly care about sustainability in the Maldives and beyond.
2nd Floor, H. Zonaria,
Contact: +960 332 3228
Article sponsored by Maldives Tourism.
Images Courtesy of MMPRC, unless otherwise noted.