Resorts across the Maldives celebrate World Environment Day 2015

Tree planting at Centara Grand
Tree planting at Centara Grand

Resorts throughout the country celebrated World Environment Day 2015 yesterday with a host of awareness-raising activities, presentations and eco-friendly events.

World Environment Day (WED) is a United Nations initiative that is commemorated every year on the same day. Its objective is to encourage worldwide awareness about the plight of the environment. It is now celebrated in over 100 countries and is a chance to take positive collective action.

Each year the day’s theme changes; this year it was ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.’ According to the event’s official website, the theme reflects the need to responsibly manage the planet’s resources in the light over of unsustainable over-consumption.

In the Maldives, the day is a pertinent reminder of the country’s vulnerability to sea levels rising, the change in the ocean’s temperature and global over-fishing.

As such, resorts use the day as a platform to educate guests and associates about environmental issues, whilst also providing enjoyable and fun activities for all involved. Throughout the country, resorts put on a range of different events. Here’s our round-up of some of the activities that took place.

Tree planting was a popular activity. Centara Grand associates took the opportunity to plant trees and shrubbery on the island, with members of all the island’s departments taking part. Soneva Fushi partnered with local island Thulaadhoo to plant 75 trees on the island, by donating 75 bags of compost. Soneva Fushi also upped the scale of their weekly island clean-up.

Kuramathi Island Resort organised a whole day of activities on the island, starting with a creative up-cycling workshop for the in-house children where flowers were made using only plastic water bottles. They then offered an island tour with their chief engineer to guests wanting to know about in-house environmentally friendly initiatives, such as the composting programme. In the evening, they screened a documentary in the Sand Bar and offered special WED cocktails.

Coral planting at Six Senses Laamu
Coral planting at Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu also offered a variety of activities. These included the chance to plant coral with the resident marine biologist, a ‘wine walk’ tour of the resort’s organic gardens (with the chance to sample organic wines) as well as a presentation about coral reefs by the Manta Trust.

At the two Coco Collection resorts, activities were also run throughout the day. At Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, a clean-up activity was carried out on Embudhu Island and some staff also attended the tree-planting event in Thulaadhoo. A resident marine biology also gave a presentation in the evening to encourage staff to be more environmentally-conscious. At Coco Bodu Hithi, guests and associates were offered the chance to participate in a lagoon-cleaning event, as well as a tree-planting event.

Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa built two coral frames with marine biology partner SeaMarc. One coral frame was built with the children on the island, who were also taught about coral and the importance of reefs. Another was for adult guests; both were tagged with ‘Environment Day’ labels and can be monitored online. In addition, the staff at the resort carried out a dive to reduce the number of coral-eating crown of thorns starfish that have been invading reefs throughout the country lately.

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort also organised a coral planting event with their marine biologist, and it was attended by both staff and guests.

LUX* Maldives held workshops on coral reef conservation, in partnership with the IUCN, in the run-up to WED.

Many resorts also sent marine biologists to participate in the 1 Nation Coral Revival event in Vilingili. The event kicks off today, a day late, due to the stormy weather experienced in the country this week.