Kudahuvadhoo showcases successful community-led waste management programme
Kudahuvadhoo, a fast-growing regional economic hub in the Maldives, is leading by example in leveraging community participation and partner resources to transition from a linear “use and dispose” method of waste management to a circular economy.
In September 2021, the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll became the debut host of a model island project launched by Maldives Ocean Plastics Alliance (MOPA). Together with key partners, Coca-Cola and its bottling partner in Maldives, Male Aerated Water Company, MOPA launched the ‘On the Ground, In the Sea: Waste Segregation Model Island Kudahuvadhoo’ programme in island.
“What we are implementing in our island will create greater opportunities for our people to take care of their environment. Even though we are pioneering this model island system with the generous support of our partners, our hope is that other islands in Dhaalu atoll and beyond will also join this initiative to create a circular economy for plastic waste and preserve our pristine environment,” says Ibrahim Fikury, President of Kudahuvadhoo Council.
To kick-off the initiative, MOPA provided collection bins to the island council. The Dhaalu Atoll Education Centre then hosted a community awareness and education programme on solid waste management, segregation at source, and recycling. Students from the centre, their guardians, and council members attended the session. Similar initiatives such as placing billboards at key locations of the island and hosting competitions for students about sustainability are held on an ongoing basis.
“Any initiative must transfer ownership of its resources, operations, and knowledge to the people; in this case, the people of Kudahuvadhoo, in order for it to be successful. This significantly increases the likelihood that any intervention will be sustained. That’s why we adopted a bottom-up approach,” says Thoriq Ibrahim, Founder and Chairman of MOPA.
“Kudahuvadhoo became the first island to fully comply with the new waste management regulation, including segregation at household levels. This a notable achievement.”
The programme, launched even before the Maldivian government mandated waste segregation at household level from June 2022, has seen over 1,000 bins supplied to the island. Each household is given two bins and four gunny bags to segregate waste into four main categories: organic waste, plastics, metal and glass, and other (mixed waste). This allows the island’s waste management centre to effectively collect and handle waste. The segregated waste is collected from households and taken to Kudahuvadhoo Waste Management Centre (KWMC), operated by the island council, on a daily basis.
Since the project’s launch, 8.7 tonnes of plastic waste have been collected from Kudahuvadhoo. As the logistics partner of the project, Coca-Cola in Maldives supports MOPA in transporting the collected PET bottles from Kudahuvadhoo to capital Male. The PET bottles – the most widely recycled plastic in the world – are then handed over to Parley Maldives to be exported for recycling and upcycling into everyday items like branded footwear, swimwear and garments.
“Coca-Cola is committed to the principles of reducing waste, reusing and recycling resources and products. In Maldives, we have been taking bold steps under the strategic pillars of Design, Collect and Partner to create a circular economy around the use of our packaging,” says Pankaj Sinha, Managing Director for Coca-Cola in the Maldives.
“We are pleased to have forged strong partnerships with local organisations like MOPA that are involved in practical solutions to address plastic waste and to see the promising results of these partnerships.”
“Coca-Cola and MAWC are working to build a better, more sustainable future together. We are dedicated to improving people’s lives, communities, and the environment,” adds Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director at Male’ Aerated Water Company.
“The model island project in Kudahuvadhoo has proven how empowering communities to take action can make a difference in our efforts to create a circular economy around plastic. We look forward to supporting MOPA in expanding the model island programme.”
BBM’s masterclass with acclaimed chef Bruno Menard attracts over 100 chefs
Bestbuy Maldives (BBM), a prominent supplier of high-quality food and beverage products in the Maldives, hosted another exciting edition of their highly anticipated Masterclass series on Saturday.
The day-long masterclass held at Kurumba Maldives featured the exceptional skills and expertise of renowned three-starred Michelin chef Bruno Menard.
The event was an exclusive affair, limited to invited guests. Over 100 chefs from 30 institutions registered for the event, showing the popularity of the series with practicing and aspiring chefs in the country.
BBM’s Masterclass series is an initiative that aims to promote culinary excellence and bring together professional and aspiring chefs in the Maldives community. Working in collaboration with renowned international brands like IREKS and Caffé Vergnano, BBM invites distinguished chefs from the Maldives’ resorts to learn from globally recognised culinary masters.
Menard is a well-respected figure in the culinary world, with an impressive career spanning over 38 years. With 24 years of experience in Asia and 15 years in Europe, Bruno has established a reputation for his innovative and creative cooking techniques. His culinary prowess has been acknowledged with three prestigious Michelin stars, placing him among the world’s greatest chefs. Adding to his accomplishments, he has also served as a judge on Master Chef Asia.
During the Masterclass event, Menard captivated the audience by showcasing the preparation of a delightful full-course meal. The Masterclass was divided into two sessions: the morning session focusing on hot applications (Karan Beef) and the post-lunch session showcasing desserts (Veliche).
“We are thrilled to have hosted Chef Bruno Menard for our Masterclass series. The event was a great success, and we received positive feedback from the participants. We believe that events like these will help elevate the culinary industry and local talents in the Maldives, and we look forward to hosting more events in the future,” said AVS Subrahmanyam, Chief Operating Officer of Bestbuy Maldives.
BBM demonstrated its commitment to supporting local talent by reserving 30% of the seats for Maldivian chefs. Additionally, they reserved 10 seats exclusively for students from the Faculty of Hospitality Studies (FHTS) at Maldives National University (MNU), providing them a unique learning opportunity.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Chef Guild of Maldives Exco Member Aminath Shaanee highlighted BBM’s support to the Maldivian team of six young chefs who made their debut in the Alen Thong Golden Coffee Pot Challenge 2023 and achieved an impressive bronze medal earlier this year
Competing against teams from eight other countries, the Maldivian team showcased exceptional talent, creativity, and precision, earning well-deserved recognition for their culinary skills. This marked the first participation of the Maldives in the prestigious competition held at the Emirates Salon Culinaire in Sharjah, UAE.
BBM’s Masterclass series has become highly anticipated within the Maldivian culinary community. It serves as a platform for chefs to enhance their skills, establish valuable connections with industry experts, and draw inspiration from culinary luminaries like Menard.
JOALI festive donation continues to support vital projects in Maldives
Over the past year and a half, multiple institutions and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) working in Raa Atoll, Maldives, have received vital funding from JOALI, the renowned luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand with two award-winning properties in the region.
JOALI Maldives, the brand’s art-immersive luxury resort in Raa Atoll, carries out an annual festive fundraiser with guests and hosts donating funds for worthy causes. Over the 2021-22 festive period, funds were raised as part of a collaborative art project, with guests joining the resort’s resident artist to glaze ceramic fish, each with a unique personal flair. The final artwork was a striking composition of all the individual fishes, swimming joyfully in unison – a powerful symbol of collaboration.
“This initiative is part of JOALI’s broader efforts around the ‘joy of caring’. Each aspect of our culture and strategy is designed to reflect responsible luxury,” says Enver Arslan, General Manager of JOALI Maldives. “We cherish the positive impact we have been able to create during our time in the Maldives.”
Supporting Impactful Local Projects
The funds raised over the 2021-22 festive period by JOALI were donated to three NGOs working in the Maldives, with the aim of supporting several crucial initiatives:
- Olive Ridley Project: focused on protecting sea turtles and their habitats in Raa Atoll through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, education and outreach.
- Women in Tech Maldives: aimed at promoting, empowering and celebrating women in science and technology.
- Zero Waste Maldives: working to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact across the archipelago.
The above projects are being managed collectively by JOALI Maldives and its sister property JOALI BEING, the brand’s wellbeing island, also situated in Raa Atoll.
Creating Real Change
Utilising the JOALI Festive Donation, Women in Tech Maldives conducted the #CodeforClimateMV project at the Raa Atoll School in Raa Dhuvaafaru. This programme trained 18 girls in coding skills, including Python and Machine Learning. The project concluded in September 2022.
In October 2022, Zero Waste Maldives used the funds to launch the ongoing #FehiFathi project in Raa Ungoofaaru. The organisation is working with the Ungoofaaru Women’s Development Committee to reduce the amount of fabric waste that ends up in landfills by rescuing clothes that can be used second-hand or upcycled. This initiative also empowers local seamstresses by providing them with an entrepreneurial opportunity. Over 15 local seamstresses are involved in the project.
Another Milestone in the Making
May 24, 2023 marked the start of an exciting new phase enabled by the JOALI Festive Donation. The Olive Ridley Project is set to begin a two-week community tour around Raa Atoll, focused on raising awareness around sea turtle conservation. A team of marine biologists from JOALI and the Olive Ridley Project, as well as educational officers from the Olive Ridley Project, will conduct multi-stakeholder awareness sessions at six islands in Raa Atoll, namely Madduvari, Meedhoo, Kinolhas, Fainu, Inguraidhoo and Vandhoo.
The expert team will visit local schools, councils, women’s development committees, fishermen, and other community groups with the aim of increasing environmental literacy and providing residents with the knowledge and skills they need to actively participate in the protection and improvement of their local habitats.
The Olive Ridley Project believes that education is a powerful tool to build awareness and engage people – especially young people – and thereby stimulate action at the local, international and policy levels.
This belief is strongly shared by JOALI. “Our team views knowledge-sharing and local empowerment as critical avenues to preserving the incomparable natural legacy of the Maldives,” says Özgür Cengiz, General Manager of JOALI BEING.
Funds from JOALI will continue to support the community outreach programme, with multiple tours scheduled across the rest of the islands in Raa Atoll later this year.
In addition, JOALI BEING is set to open the doors of its new Olive Ridley Turtle Rehabilitation Centre soon. At this purpose-built venue, rescued sea turtles will be nursed back to health by the island’s resident sea turtle biologist. The centre will also function as a hub for turtle-focused research efforts in the area.
A Brand Rooted in Local Community
Sustainability in Raa Atoll is a key focus area for JOALI, with a focus on safeguarding the planet, fostering wellbeing, creating platforms for women, and nurturing ethical consumption. In 2023, the brand launched the JOALI Sustainability Fund to provide funding for 10 local projects that align with its focus areas. The grant will award funds to the first five projects in June 2023.
Since its arrival in the Maldives, JOALI has demonstrated its commitment to the local community in a variety of meaningful ways. The team has partnered with Maldivian organisations to aid the training of girls in local schools; provide hospitality internships for aspiring candidates; and conduct virtual educational sessions for local university students.
Both JOALI BEING and JOALI Maldives also host regular school visits, enabling local students to see luxury hospitality in action and learn first-hand about job opportunities in the industry. The goal is to ensure that every school in Raa Atoll receives this opportunity at least once a year.
For further details and booking, please visit www.joali.com
Coca-Cola Foundation, MOPA launch first-of-its-kind Material Recovery Facility in Maldives
The Coca-Cola Foundation and Maldives Ocean Plastics Alliance (MOPA) are pleased to announce the inauguration of the first-ever Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Maldives, a pioneering project with the collective effort of various partners, including island councils, NGOs, and resorts. This shared commitment to PET collection, recycling, and building a circular economy around packaging, aligns with the global call to #BeatPlasticPollution, the theme of this year’s World Environment Day 2023. This movement highlights the urgent need for global solutions to combat plastic pollution.
The MRF’s launch on World Environment Day, June 5, 2023, is especially significant as it is a tangible response to this year’s environmental call to action. A ceremony was held at the site to commemorate this landmark achievement, with Ahmed Gais, Deputy Managing Director of Urbanco, gracing the event as chief guest.
MRFs are pivotal in managing solid waste, processing recyclable materials like PET plastic, and selling them as raw materials for the creation of new products. They are integral in establishing a circular economy, curbing waste and pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and extending the useful life of recyclable and versatile materials like PET. MRFs also encourage the creation of secondary industries such as waste collection, and generating employment opportunities for the community.
The MOPA MRF, designed to collect, sort, bale and export PET plastic waste for recycling, stands as a testament to the concerted efforts of its partners. The Coca-Cola Foundation provided USD 150,000 in funding to establish and operationalise the MRF.
Situated in Hulhumale Phase 2, the MRF is equipped with a baler machine, transport pick-up, weighing and measuring system, and a fork lift, and has a storage facility to hold baled plastic.
“Our mission is to make a difference in communities around the world by investing in transformative ideas and institutions that address pressing global challenges. The inauguration of this facility is a significant milestone in the Maldives’ sustainability efforts,” Saadia Madsbjerg, President at The Coca-Cola Foundation, said.
“We are grateful to the government of Maldives and Urbanco for providing the space to build this facility, adding momentum to the critical dialogue we have initiated with the government on potential avenues for further collaboration in creating a circular economy around PET packaging.”
Echoing these sentiments, Ahmed Athif, Managing Director of Urbanco, added, “We are excited to be part of this ground-breaking initiative that sets a new standard for waste management in Maldives. This facility will not only help reduce plastic pollution but also create new economic and livelihood opportunities for our communities.”
The partnership with MOPA is The Coca-Cola Foundation’s maiden grant in the Maldives, to bolster efforts to effectively tackle plastic pollution and create a circular economy in Maldives.
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