World Environment and Ocean Day Activities in the Maldives
The theme for the 2021 World Environment Day, marked on 5 June, is ‘Restoration of Ecosystems’. It’s a special day established in 1972 as the people’s day of doing something to take care of the planet initiated by the United Nations. Meanwhile, following hot on its heels is World Oceans Day on 8 June 2021 with the theme ‘Life and Livelihoods’ and it’s an all-encompassing part of island life in the Maldives. All events and activities held in over 100 countries around the world, bring people together to celebrate and honour the ocean. The Maldives’ biggest and most diverse ecosystem is the coral reef surrounding resorts, so this features highly in activities.
Crown & Champa Resorts Collection aims to raise awareness and educate associates, guests, and partners on ways to be more mindful of the natural surroundings by staging various planet-conscious activities supporting the UN initiative, which encourages worldwide consciousness and action for the protection of the environment.
Marine Life Protection
The Maldives’ first fully solar-powered Kudadoo Maldives Private Island and the naturally chic, adults-only Hurawalhi Island Resort continue to work closely with the Mantra Trust, the UK based, independent non-profit organisation whose mission is to advance the conservation of manta rays and their habitats. Guests are invited to take a private trip with the resident marine biologist and learn all about the conservation project, the manta ray ecology, and how to responsibly interact with these majestic creatures of the ocean.
Gardening and Planting
Kagi Maldives Spa Island: The wellbeing-focused resort will carry out a tree planting event to be participated by both guests and team members. Planting more native trees around the island is an effective way to prevent erosion and help offset emissions of CO2 by storing carbon and other greenhouse gases that otherwise would be released.
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa: The secluded island of Veligandu is organising a coral planting initiative in partnership with the Ocean Group Maldives. The activity will start with harvesting broken pieces of corals from the island house reef, which will then be restored by carefully attaching them onto ‘coral frames’. These frames allow the coral fragments to grow, providing new homes for the abundant marine life in Veligandu’s lagoon.
Beach and Island Clean-up
The adults-only (18+) Komandoo Island Resort & Spa and the top-rated Kuredu Island Resort & Spa will invite team members and guests for a beach and island clean-up drive. Guests are also encouraged to visit ProDivers Maldives Dive Centre to learn more about the Olive Ridley Project, whose dedication is to protect sea turtles in the Indian Ocean through research, education, and rehabilitation.
At Innahura, a beach clean-up activity has been organised to pick up litter and debris but also raise awareness of the environment with guests. Additionally, the team will plant more crops in the resort’s sustainable garden, which already produces a variety of spices, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Sustainability is at the heart of everything they do, from solar huts that generate hot water for all the rooms, in-house desalination and water bottling plant, minimising the use of plastics, ocean-friendly bathroom amenities and sustainable diving and snorkelling opportunities that support the local community.
Meanwhile, at Kudadoo, one of the Maldives’ most sustainable resorts, keeping the health of the environment is central to the resort’s activities with desalination and water bottling to harnessing the power of the sun. The ocean is important to the resort and there are various protections in place over the 40 marine protected areas including four in the Lhaviyani Atoll. Shark fishing has been banned for more than a decade.
Over at Hurawalhi, dive centre manager Paige has been ‘coral gardening’ around the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, reviving marine life that had been weakened by an El Nino event that caused widespread coral bleaching. Anyone who dines at 5.8 will see the tremendous achievements of Paige, Mie Shaahh – a local who was instrumental in the project, and other members of the team who have helped, as the reef flourishes and provides a home to countless fish. The coral project has continued with coral nurseries set up by marine biologists; starting in 2019, broken coral fragments were grown and have been able to be transplanted back to damaged areas of the reef. In the latter part of 2020, fast-growing branching species of Acropora coral have been at the centre of a new nursery project that should be ready for transplantation at the end of this year – this will provide the very important diversity of coral species that are interwoven in a healthy reef system.
With a healthy reef system with an abundance of life but also protections in place to ensure that tourism and fishing, the main sources of income in the country, are sustainable. The resort advocates responsible diving and snorkelling practices and work in partnership with Manta Trust, Olive Ridley Project and Parley for the Oceans. These associations advocate avoiding the use of single-use plastics and encouraging responsible disposal of plastic that would otherwise end up in the ocean. The resort marine biologists work tirelessly in reef conservation, research, local community outreach programs and guest education. Fishing in the Maldives is by traditional methods only, using a pole and line – an extremely sustainable method and Hurawalhi sources its fish directly from the local fishermen, great for the environment as well as the local economy.
Meeru Island Resort & Spa is dedicating the month of June to celebrate the magic of the Ocean. This month, the resort will emphasize its very unique approaches to increase the awareness of the ocean together with all Meeru guests, and also sharing each of these initiatives with the resort’s expanded fan base across the world.
Meeru started the celebration with World Reef Awareness Day, on June 2, 2021, with an awareness session about coral reefs and the resort’s very own Coral Restoration Project. Meeru Island Resort & Spa’s coral garden is one of the most successful coral restoration projects in the Maldives. This reef care project started in 2016 in association with Save the Beach, a Maldivian non-profit organisation, after a coral bleaching event that affected most of the coral reefs in the country. This project allows the resort to foster interest and awareness of coral reefs and the global threats facing them to inspire actions to conserve the resources when people visit the ocean.
The aim has always been to help regenerate reef segments, promote coral growth, and provide guests with an enchanting underwater experience in Meeru’s lagoon whilst simultaneously creating respect and an understanding of the benefits of corals and their contribution to the ecosystem. Today, more than 3,000 coral fragments of about 14 different species have been planted, with an average growth rate of 7 centimetres per year.
Many marine species have made Meeru’s coral garden their habitat, with the biodiversity of more than 22 fish types in the lagoon, including some rare species like ghost pipefish and tetralia crab, which is an excellent coral crab. Other species such as turtles, rays, and small reef sharks can be spotted cruising in this area, an awe-inspiring sight for all marine life enthusiasts.
The coral garden project is looked after by the well-trained Meeru team members, who frequently monitor the area to clean the algae and check the temperature changes that affect the coral growth rate. So far, five different ways of coral plantation have been researched and implemented in the coral garden itself.
Meeru resort team has also installed a web camera that sits underwater in the coral garden situated on the island’s eastern part. The webcam feed can be seen live directly from the Meeru website – an enthralling aquarium as described by visitors to the nursery and viewers of the live webcam. Guests staying in the comfort of their homes may have a glimpse of the coral garden here: Meeru’s Coral Garden Live Webcam Feed. On 8 June 2021, in celebration of World Oceans Day 2021, Meeru Island Resort team has prepared various activities for guests to participate in. Discover more: Every Day Is World Oceans Day at Meeru.
Additionally, a special session in collaboration with Euro-Divers Maldives will educate guests about green issues, the benefits of being sustainably conscious, and the importance of protecting the world’s natural resources.
Being a visionary in setting the highest standards towards the most sustainable resort in the Maldives, it is Meeru’s continuous commitment to positively impact the environment in which the resort operates. With this commitment, Meeru ensures each guest visiting along the future is guaranteed to experience this breathtakingly beautiful natural space.
Sustainability at Crown & Champa Resorts
The World Environment Day initiatives are part of Crown & Champa Resort’s sustainability programme, which underlines the group’s commitment towards inspiring change for a greener and more sustainable tomorrow, guided by its core values: respect, empathy, sincerity, openness, reliability, trust, and sensitivity.