Investing in marine conservation in the Maldives; a super-smart move all round by Banyan Tree who have their own Group Director of Conservation to rally staff and guests into green action!
Although this initiative applies to more than 30 of the group’s resorts, nowhere feels it more acutely than the stunning Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, which, along with the rest of the Maldives, is facing challenges to its marine life from climate change and human impact. Keeping these beautiful islands afloat for future generations is a must, and Banyan Tree is on the case. What has really created a stir however, is the island’s Marine Lab.
The bigger picture
We are all far too savvy now to be fobbed off with corporate promises of recycling programs and waste reduction, which although important to us, really don’t cut it in the real world anymore. Granted, Banyan Tree helps by building jetties instead of harbours and effectively managing waste disposal, but the construction of a Marine Lab takes it to a whole new level.
The role of the Marine Lab
Effectively, it’s all about stewardship. Rooted in the staff and guest experience, the Marine Lab at Vabbinfaru, which was created in 2003, contributes across several levels and benefits everyone. It is part of a vision that operates with the expertise of marine biologists who work to collate data on multiple ecosystems, coral reef, rainforest, mangrove and desert.
Guests can’t fail to notice
As you go about your daily tasks in the spa, on the beach or in the crystal lagoon, you’ll be aware of the good you can do. Subtlety is the key here, but watch out for:
- News and activities on the information boards
- Messages at turn-down
- Notices of educational talks – fun for adults & children
- Information during guided snorkelling trips
And if you feel inspired?
Then there are ways in which you can turn your visit into a lasting commitment:
- Sponsor a coral garden
- Get involved in citizen science projects
- Help to plant new corals
- See the sea turtle conservation program in action
What exactly is Citizen Science?
When guests visit the Maldives, they usually spend a great deal of their time in the water (ok, swimming pool activity may not be so valuable!). So exploring the reef as a Citizen Scientist requires little training, but with enthusiasm and investigations, recorded or photographed, it can provide an invaluable source of data. This evidence can document the health of reefs and fish populations, evidence of bleaching can be detected, and counts of megafauna such as endangered species can reveal quantifiable trends over time.
Not a diver yet?
Banyan Tree not only holds sessions to introduce you safely to the ocean with snorkelling courses, but its PADI Gold Palm 5-Star Resort Dive Centre offers a full range of PADI and Nitrox courses. There is a team of professional and hugely enthusiastic certified instructors who will open your eyes and your mind to the wonders of our undersea world. There are few more thrilling experiences than swimming over a pod of dolphins, brushing fins with a sea turtle or feeling the movement of water as a manta ray glides past your shoulder.