Six Senses Laamu leads sustainable tourism in Maldives with BlueGreen360 award
Six Senses Laamu has received the highest honour in a global recognition for sustainable tourism.
The resort received the BlueGreen360 Resort of the Year Award at the recently concluded Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) in Singapore. General Manager Marteyne Van Well was in Singapore to receive the award on behalf of the resort.
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu Atoll, which lies in the southern part of the Maldives. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the resort prides itself on its commitment to sustainable operations and development as outlined by Agenda 21 and Green Globe Benchmarking.
Some of the key initiatives created by the resort include:
- Six Senses Laamu has laid the foundation to be the first plastic-free atoll in the Maldives by 2020.
- Creation of an Earth Lab; a centralised hub of recycling and innovative ideas. Glass is recycled into pots, vegetable waste becomes compost, and wood into charcoal. For example 660kg of recycled glass light covers were produced in the Earth Lab.
- The resort enforces a strict “no-take” stance on the purchase of endangered or vulnerable fish from local fishermen.
- The resort funded and created the first Turtle Festival in Laamu, “Turtles in Laamu, Safe and Protected,” which had more than 600 attendees.
- In 2014, they created and distributed the country’s first ever Dolphin Watching Code of Conduct as well as a turtle interaction code of conduct.
- Six Senses Laamu partners with international NGOs such as the Manta Trust, the Blue Marine Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project.
- Reef Check, Fish Watch, Shark Watch, barnacle studies and biodiversity surveys are conducted year round with data submitted to the IUCN, Marine Research Centre, and the Olive Ridley Project.
- Their reusable bag initiative teaches local women to make bags from old clothes, eliminating the need for single-use plastic bags.
- The resort provides marine education to local youth in all 13 schools in Laamu.
- Bi-monthly community meetings are held about waste management, marine reserves, and internship/employment opportunities.
- Designated plastic, metal, paper, glass bins are constant reminders to guests about the importance of waste segregation. Guests are encouraged to bring batteries, lighters, and plastic back to their respective countries for recycling.
- Bicycles are provided for transportation around the island.
- Suppliers are asked to reduce any necessary packaging in all deliveries.
- The resort conducts beach and reef clean-ups, tree-planting sessions, local community visits, and turtle and manta naming.
The BlueGreen360 Awards celebrates businesses and individuals in the ocean tourism industry that have proven their dedication to sustainable tourism within the communities they operate. The award programme focuses on liveaboards, resorts, dive operations, and cruises in the Asia Pacific region with winners announced at the ADEX fair.
In addition to Six Senses Laamu, the recognition was accorded to Scuba Junkie of Malaysia (Dive Operator of the Year), AB Wonderdive of Philippines (Green Fins Award), and Dennis Bait-it of Philippines (Personality of the Year).