In recent years, the leaders and inhabitants of many small-island nations like the Maldives, Kiribati and Tuvalu have warned that climate change is an existential threat to their homelands, fearing they could disappear under rising seas as the planet warms.
But according to research published on Wednesday, small, low-lying islands dotted around the Pacific, the Caribbean and Asia — often seen as the places most vulnerable to global warming — can naturally adapt and raise themselves above encroaching waves.
A three-year study led by Britain’s University of Plymouth, which looked at coral reef islands such as the Maldives and the Marshall Islands, found that tides move sediment to create higher elevation, a process that may keep the islands habitable.
“The dominant discourse is that of an island drowning, and the outcome of that is coastal defences and relocation … We think there are more trajectories for the islands,” said lead author Gerd Masselink, professor of coastal geomorphology at the University of Plymouth.
Low-lying island states are judged to be at greatest risk from increasingly powerful storms and rising oceans, with some making preparations to resettle their people within decades.
Many are already building sea walls, moving coastal villages to higher ground, appealing for international aid or setting up projects to repair damage caused by climate change impacts.
The world’s tens of thousands of coral reef islands are mostly uninhabited, but are home to about a million people who largely rely on fishing or tourism for a living, said Masselink.
Although the islands have different structures due to varying weather and wave patterns, they tend to be relatively small, low-lying, sandy or gravel islands sitting on top of a living reef platform.
They were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago by waves moving and piling up reef material or sediment to create higher ground — a natural defence mechanism that continues, he noted.
For the study published in the journal Science Advances, scientists built a model coral reef and island in a laboratory tank with rising water levels, and used computer simulations to replicate how such islands respond to higher seas in reality.
The results suggest that by opting for climate-resilient infrastructure that allows for occasional flooding, like buildings on stilts and movable houses, islanders with enough space could adapt to their shifting environment, Masselink said.
Dredging coral sand and sediments found in island lagoons and moving it to beaches could also aid the natural process of raising the islands, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Sea walls, however, are compromising the natural ability of the islands to adjust to rising sea levels, he said.
“If you stop the flooding of the islands, you also stop the movement of the sediment on top of the island,” he said.
Most coral islands do not depend on agriculture, and import food and fresh water, making saltwater contamination during flooding less of an issue, he noted.
Hideki Kanamaru, natural resources officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Asia-Pacific, said the study provided a “new perspective” on how island nations could tackle the challenge of sea-level rise.
But even if islands can adapt naturally to higher seas by raising their own crests, humans still need to double down on global warming and protection for island populations, he added.
Climate change in Maldives
Maldives comprises 1,190 islands in 20 atolls spread over 900km in the Indian Ocean. Of these, just 199 islands are inhabited with a population of slightly over 515,000 people. The highest point of land is two metres or about six feet above sea level.
The atolls of Maldives are ringed by the seventh largest coral reefs in the world and among the richest in species diversity. The reefs host over 1,900 species of fish, 187 coral species, and 350 crustaceans.
Drawn by its pristine beaches, underwater coral reefs, and spectacular marine wildlife, this small island-nation attracts some 1.5 million tourists annually. In recent years, nature-based tourism has served as the engine of growth for the economy and accounts for about 70 per cent of GDP.
Geography has made the Maldives especially vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Being land scarce and low lying, the country is exposed to the risks of intensifying weather events such as damage caused by inundation, extreme winds, and flooding from storms.
With the melting of polar ice caps, the Maldives is also exposed to the risks of sea-level rise.
Rising sea temperatures also threaten the coral reefs and cause bleaching and death, with the most severe damage in areas that are stressed by pollutants, or damaged by physical disturbance.
Vulnerability to climate change hazards has been magnified by damage to coral reefs which has in turn impaired their protective function, thus a negative cycle of impact.
Note: The above article is largely based on reporting by Reuters. The cover photo has been sourced from Visit Maldives.
Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry
In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.
Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.
After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.
Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.
In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.
As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.
Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.
Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.
As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.
A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives
The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.
For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.
Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.
The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.
The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.
Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.
As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.
Amari Raaya Maldives opens its gates to paradise
In a grand celebration of luxury and nature’s wonders, Amari Raaya Maldives resort has officially opened its doors, welcoming its first guests to experience a slice of paradise in the Maldives. The exclusive event was attended by the resort’s management team, as well as Atul Chordia, Chairman of Panchshil Realty, the developer behind this magnificent project.
Nestled on a pristine natural island in the heart of the Maldives’ Raa Atoll, Amari Raaya promises to be a sanctuary for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape amidst the archipelago’s breathtaking beauty. From the moment guests arrived via Manta Air seaplane, they were greeted with warm hospitality and a taste of Maldivian culture, as they were presented with traditional cultural items and treated to mesmerizing Maldivian dances.
Atul Chordia, the visionary behind Panchshil Realty, and Yuthachai Charanachitta ONYX Hospitality Group’s CEO marked the official opening of the resort by cutting the ribbon, signifying the culmination of a labor of love and dedication to creating a unique haven for luxury travelers.
With 187 villas offering a variety of luxurious experiences, Amari Raaya ensures that every guest’s stay is truly exceptional. Visitors can choose from an array of accommodation options, including the Beach Villas, Beach Pool Villas, and interconnecting Family Beach Villas, perfect for creating cherished memories with loved ones.
For those seeking unparalleled luxury and seclusion, the Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas provide panoramic views of the azure waters teeming with marine life. Sunset enthusiasts can revel in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldivian dusk from the privacy of their villas, opting for the Sunset Ocean Villas or Sunset Ocean Pool Villas, promising an unforgettable experience.
Amari Raaya Maldives goes beyond offering captivating villas; it has curated an extraordinary culinary journey for its guests. With eight distinct dining options, visitors can embark on a gastronomic adventure that caters to every palate. From the signature Amaya Food Gallery, serving famous street food and hawker delights, to the rooftop bar Ampers&nd, where guests can savor sunset snacks and cocktails, the resort promises to delight all epicureans. Poolside Italian favorites, freshly caught seafood infused with Maldivian and Asian flavors, and the fun and playful experience of enjoying mobile snacks and drinks served from a bus all add to the culinary magic of the resort.
In the evenings, guests can find a sense of community and immerse themselves in the local culture through live music, traditional Boduberu nights, and regular cultural events and festivities, making every moment at Amari Raaya Maldives an enriching and memorable one.
Amari Raaya Maldives is developed by Panchshil Realty, a name synonymous with excellence in luxury real estate in India. The resort is managed by Onyx Hospitality, renowned for its exceptional and personalized hospitality experiences.
With its official opening, Amari Raaya Maldives invites travelers from around the world to discover the allure of the Maldives in unparalleled comfort and style. As guests arrive at this oasis of luxury and natural splendor, they are sure to find themselves enchanted by the timeless beauty of the islands and immersed in an experience that will linger in their hearts forever.
News3 days ago
Manta Air elevates to new heights with international flights to India starting from 2024
News1 week ago
Sheraton Maldives announces spectacular Festive Artisan Market: A day of culture, creativity, and community
News7 days ago
Angsana Velavaru welcomes new Executive Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage; ready to enhance culinary experience for “Festive Moments in our Hearts”
Celebration4 days ago
Milaidhoo Maldives: Seven years of luxury and tranquility in paradise
Celebration1 week ago
Amari Raaya Maldives unveils an extensive Festive Season programme
Awards1 week ago
Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa honored as Unrivaled Luxury Leader of 2023
Family1 week ago
JOALI BEING introduces multi-generational playground to enrich wellbeing vacations for families
Events6 days ago
A night of celestial wonders, luxury, and cosmic inspiration at Anantara Kihavah SKY Observatory by British astronaut Tim Peake