Four Seasons Resorts Maldives announces partnership with NOW Force for Good Alliance, EarthCheck

Whatever the future holds, one thing is certain: there is much to learn and much to do.

At a time of immense change – when we are revising what it means to be a global community – Four Seasons Resorts Maldives is marking Earth Day 2020 by announcing a new partnership with the NOW Force for Good Alliance and EarthCheck: a commitment to creating a more conscious, collaborative and Earth-aware travel industry.

“The world has pressed pause and together we are on the cusp of an unprecedented moment of clarity, if we choose to frame it that way,” Four Seasons Resorts Maldives’ Regional Vice President and General Manager Armando Kraenzlin, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“Here in the Maldives, we’ve long been aware of our responsibility to take mindful care of our planet and people. Launching our partnership with EarthCheck and the NOW Force for Good Alliance on the occasion of Earth Day 2020 – celebrated in our Earth Day video – underlines our determination to become even more accountable and transparent in all that we do and encourage the continual improvement that is so needed in the travel industry.”

The past two decades have seen Four Seasons Maldives marine conservation team Marine Savers – based at its two resorts of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru – forge some of the region’s most ground-breaking ocean initiatives, including coral propagation, turtle rehabilitation and manta ray research.

These initiatives sit alongside on-site water-bottling plants, Parley-linked plastic recycling programmes, solar energy installations, local health and outreach projects, a TVET-accredited Hospitality Apprenticeship Programme and support for the Maldives’ last remaining lacquerware craftspeople in an ongoing programme that addresses all aspects of environmental, social and cultural sustainability.

And the ripple effects spread outwards from the resorts’ pristine islands, through moments that change guests’ lives; from days spent researching manta rays to coral reef transplanting, Junior Marine Savers experiences to wildlife monitoring dives.

“Our partnership with NOW and EarthCheck is about how we continue to expand our sustainability efforts in a changed world,” Kraenzlin said.

“With space to reflect suddenly forced upon us, the time is now to choose a different kind of future. Through collaborations like these, there’s a chance for the travel industry to establish a new way of being where sustainability actions are the norm, not simply the ideal.”

NOW Force for Good Alliance is a global community committed to raising the bar on how the hospitality industry and the traveller impact the environment, while EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism.

Both provide stringent sustainable development goals and environmental standards that applying resorts and hotels must meet.

Some of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives’ most inspiring sustainability actions to date:

  • Being the first Maldivian resorts to have marine biologists (since 2000) and introducing the country’s first – and most extensive – Marine Discovery Centres for conservation and research, now standard at most Maldivian resorts.
  • Pioneering the Maldives’ first coral frame structures to regenerate local reefs. Beginning life as experimental reef ball structures in 2001, the coral frame project has since developed into Reefscapers: one of the most successful reef propagation projects of its kind in the world. To date, the project has deployed more than 7,000 coral frames, covering an area in excess of one hectare (2.5 acres) featuring more 40 thriving species of corals.
  • Establishing the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) in 2005, under then Four Seasons marine biologist Guy Stevens. MMRP became the founding project of the Manta Trust – now the world’s leading manta ray charity – instrumental in designating Baa atoll as Maldives’ first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011.
  • Introducing the first sustainable and environmentally responsible mosquito control initiative into the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (2015), working with Mosquito Lady Consulting (MLC). Four Seasons financially supported MLC’s dengue risk assessment of Baa atoll’s 13 island communities and is the main sponsor of the Dengue Eradication Programme on the island of Malhoos.
  • Inaugurating the Maldives first Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in 2011, following guest donations and the rescue of an Olive Ridley turtle, Olivia. The Resorts’ turtle biologists have since: rehabilitated and returned more than 155 sea turtles back to the wild; significantly raised awareness of the plight of turtles in local and international waters; and re-homed six non-releasable turtles overseas (dubbed “The Flying Turtles”).
  • Teaming with the Maldives chapter of environmental organisation Parley For The Oceans since 2018, by channelling plastic waste from resort operations as well as the collection of plastic waste from neighbouring islands. In the first year of operation, more than 1.3 tons of plastic were sent to Taiwan to be recycled into sportswear; plastic that may otherwise have ended up on the Maldives’ waste island or being dumped into the ocean. Parley-initiated Adidas sportswear, made from recycled plastic, is available at the resorts.
  • Installing one of the Maldives’ largest resort-based solar installations. Spanning more 5,380 square metres (58,000 square feet) and saving between 250,000 and 300,000 litres (55,000-66,000 gallons) of diesel annually, it will also hopefully inspire other local resorts to adopt similar technology.

Combining innovation, wellness and conservation, Four Seasons Resort Maldives Landaa Giraavaru is a 44-acre, 103-villa wonderland in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — a 30-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport.

Its sister property, Four Seasons Resort Maldives Kuda Huraa lies to the south: an enchanting garden island complete with Island Spa sea sanctuary and Tropicsurf coaches and guides. It features 96 thatched beach and water accommodations constructed by local craftsmen using indigenous materials and techniques to reflect a true sense of the Maldives.

The luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer connects the two properties via three, four and seven-night cruises, plus private leisure, surf and manta ray charters.

The latest addition to the Maldives collection, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll opened in 2016 as the group’s first exclusive-use private island: off limits to everyone else, limitless to the guests.

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