The Maldives Underwater Initiative at Six Senses Laamu is Rewarded For Conservation Through a Global Award and the Designation of Marine Protected Areas in Laamu Atoll

The Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) was recently recognized as the world leader in marine conservation during the 20th Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards. Shortly afterwards, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his officials designated six naturally occurring and rich ecosystems at Laamu Atoll as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The announcement comes two months after the center was announced as Hope Spot by Mission Blue.

Recognition of Conservation Development

MUI, a marine biological team at Six Senses Laamu, comprising tourists from the resort and three partner organizations: The Manta Trust, the Blue Marine Foundation and The Olive Ridley Project, have been nominated for Marine and Coastal at the 2021 Skål International Sustainable competition. Tourism Awards. This is the second Skål trophy on display at Six Senses Laamu after the resort was awarded as the winner of the same category in 2018. Three independent stabilization specialists have judged 50 competitions from 26 countries, putting MUI at the top of its category ahead of five other projects.

“Winning this award twice is an amazing achievement,” explains Marteyne van Well, General Manager of Six Senses Laamu, “and is a testament to the progress MUI has made in the field of marine conservation since we won our first Skål Award three years ago. . ”

The award celebrates the team's commitment to marine conservation through research, education and community service. Their research was presented at both scientific conferences and government meetings to further policy change. They provided 199 children in Laamu with marine and environmental conservation education and brought 566 students from local schools on a ski trip. Since 2019, they have had 26,000 study sessions with visitors and enrolled 165 children through their Junior Marine Biology program.

Six Selected Marine Protected Areas

Just one day after the announcement of the award, MUI celebrations continued when the President of the Maldives, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, announcing that six MPAs were coming to Laamu. The team has been working on the incident for many years.

"Since the inception of MUI, our main goal has been to protect Laam's marine ecosystems and key megafauna species by law," said Philippa Roe, Head of MUI's Marine Biologist. “For years partners within MUI - the Six Senses Laamu, the Manta Trust, the Blue Marine Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project - have been collecting research on Laamu marine ecosystems and species, many of which have been used as evidence to support maritime protection. ”

Selected marine protected areas include seafood, mangroves and L seaweed. Gaadhoo (the uninhabited island of Six Senses Laamu), a line between Six Senses Laamu and L. Gaadhoo, a mangrove of L. Hithadhoo (an island inhabited by people across the Six Senses Laamu), as well as two tunnels, a mangrove, wetland and an island in some atoll areas.

"The new MPAs, which include mixed coral reefs, mangroves, and marine marshes, will support the Laamu community by protecting fish stocks and livelihoods while maintaining climate-resilient equipment," said Shaha Hashim, Blue Marine Foundation Project and Driving Manager. powers that support the appointment of MPAs.

Home of Regenerative Travel Activism

The Skål Medal was not the only medal won in Laamu last month. On 15 December 2021, the winners of the Regenerative Travel 2021 Impact Awards were announced, and Shaha was named the Renewable Activist of the Year. The award honors her commitment to these MPA positions by describing her as "the voice of many who have no power or platform to speak, who work for fair and well-managed resources based on scientific evidence."

Now that these MPAs have been nominated, the Department of Environment will work with stakeholders, including Atoll and Island Councils, to develop management plans for each area. MUI and the Blue Marine Foundation will continue to liaise with local community members and leaders in the region, providing advice and assistance where needed.

Mission Blue Hope Spot

The good news comes just two months after Laamu Atoll was announced as the Hope Spot by the international non-profit conservation organization Mission Blue. The announcement of Hope Spot highlighted the importance of the marine environment on the island and the need for additional protection.