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Kudahuvadhoo showcases successful community-led waste management programme

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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.”

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Amilla Maldives teams up with NGO to protect turtles

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In celebration of World Turtle Day on May 23rd, 2024, Amilla Maldives, a haven nestled within the breathtaking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, announced a new and exciting partnership with the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC), a local NGO dedicated to marine conservation. This collaboration allows guests to actively participate in protecting these magnificent creatures and their vital habitats.

Founded in Lhaviyani Atoll in 2012, the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC) has become a vital force for sea turtle conservation in the Maldives. Their mission extends far beyond rehabilitation of hatchlings once kept as ill-advised pets. AMC actively rescues and rehabilitates adult turtles entangled in fishing gear or stranded on beaches. Their dedication extends to restoring coral reefs, raising awareness within the local community, and educating future generations through engaging school programs. This partnership with Amilla Maldives marks AMC’s first venture outside their home atoll, signifying the growing importance of collaborative conservation efforts across the islands.

As a proud member of The Conscious Travel Foundation and an EarthCheck silver-certified resort, Amilla Maldives goes beyond offering luxurious accommodations. The resort prioritises sustainable practices and actively engages guests in environmental initiatives. To celebrate World Turtle Day, Amilla curated a series of unforgettable experiences that allowed guests to learn about and contribute to sea turtle conservation:

  • Turtle Discovery Excursion: Witnessing the magic of turtles in their natural habitat through a guided snorkelling adventure.
  • “Turtle Tales”: Educational talks by marine biologists, demystifying the lives of sea turtles and the threats they face.
  • “Adopt-a-Turtle” Programme: An opportunity for guests to directly support AMC’s vital conservation efforts by symbolically adopting a turtle patient recovering at the centre

Amilla Maldives’ dedication to environmental responsibility extends far beyond World Turtle Day. The resort has implemented a series of ongoing initiatives that demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future:

  • Harnessing the Power of the Sun: A significant investment in solar panel installation has drastically reduced the resort’s reliance on diesel fuel, minimising its carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Amenities: Amilla Maldives has partnered with socially conscious brands to provide guests with refillable, eco-friendly toiletries packaged in PCR materials.
  • Combating Plastic Waste: The resort has replaced single-use plastic water bottles with reusable Rolla Bottles for all guests. Partnering with Rolla Bottle ensures that a portion of the proceeds goes towards funding ocean plastic pollution clean-up solutions.
  • Supporting Sustainable Fishing Practices: Amilla Maldives actively participates in the Blue Marine Foundation’s “Maldives Resilient Reefs” initiative. This program financially rewards local fishermen for adopting sustainable fishing practices that protect fragile coral reef ecosystems.

By choosing Amilla Maldives, travellers can indulge in luxurious comfort while contributing to vital marine conservation efforts. The resort offers a unique opportunity to combine an unforgettable vacation with the chance to make a positive impact on the environment. Let Amilla Maldives show you how luxury and sustainability can coexist beautifully.

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Jumeirah Olhahali Island hosts heartwarming celebration for local community on Children’s Day

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In recognition of Children’s Day, Jumeirah Olhahali Island has hosted a group of 20 special guests from Southern Community Empowerment Association of Maldives (SCEAM) for a day of exploration and inspiring experiences on 11 May 2024.

SCEAM, an umbrella NGO dedicated to the empowerment and engagement of local communities, works across the Southernmost atolls of the Maldives to support in building resilience and fostering collective growth.

“We are delighted to collaborate with SCEAM and welcome these wonderful children to our blissful island,” said Mohamed Ashraf, General Manager of Jumeirah Olhahali Island. “With over 57% of members hailing from the Maldives, we believe in the importance of supporting neighbouring institutions and organisations while prioritising the well-being of our future successors. This event was a fantastic opportunity to create lasting memories and spread smiles on Children’s Day.”

The day commenced with a warm welcome ritual from the resort’s management team and the friendly members of its Kids Club. The children then participated in a hands-on cake decoration activity with the resort’s talented chefs, crafting delicious treats to share with their families. Following a delightful lunch at the poolside all-day dining restaurant, GLOW, the little guests engaged in a creative crafting session guided by artists from the island’s MURACA Art Studio. As the day unfolded, the children had the opportunity to explore the resort’s contemporary beachside villas and indulge in some splash fun in the private infinity pools. Concluding the visit, each child received a special gift and a certificate of participation to cherish as part of their Olhahali Island memory.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Jumeirah Olhahali Island for organising this delightful event in celebration of Children’s Day,” said Shimla Ahmed, Co-Founder & President of SCEAM. “The experience brought immense joy and happiness to the children, and we are excited for future collaborations to continue spreading positivity and building a brighter future for our younger generation.”

With consistent educational programmes and regular outreach to nearby islands, Jumeirah Olhahali Island remains committed to supporting local initiatives and fostering meaningful connections with the community. The all-villa resort strives to make a positive impact and create timeless experiences for guests and residents alike.

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Noonu Atoll Education Centre students embark on hospitality journey at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

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As part of its commitment to providing quality education, Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Maldives welcomed another group of enthusiastic students from Noonu Atoll Education Centre in N. Velidhoo for an opportunity of a lifetime as they embarked on a career exploration trip on the 04th of November, 2023. The excursion aimed to offer students valuable insights into the hospitality industry, specifically focusing on various hotel sections, including front office, food and beverage, housekeeping operations, and providing a comprehensive tour of the resort facilities.

This educational experience was designed to ignite the students’ passion for the hospitality sector, providing them with a firsthand understanding of the various aspects of the industry. The students were given a glimpse into the daily operations of Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, offering them a unique behind-the-scenes look at the resort’s high-quality service and exceptional amenities.

The visit also emphasized the importance of marine life and environmental protection as part of the Sun Siyam Care programme. The students engaged in activities and workshops designed to raise awareness about the fragile ecosystem of the Maldives and the resort’s commitment to preserving it.

The highlight of the visit was the announcement that five of the participating students have been selected for an industrial training program with Sun Siyam Iru Fushi. These students will be gaining hands-on experience in the front office, food and beverage service, and housekeeping departments, over the course of six days. This hands-on training will empower them to hone their skills and set a strong foundation for their future careers in the hospitality industry.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Mohamed Nizar, the School Principal for Noonu Atoll Education Centre in N. Velidhoo, said, “We are extremely grateful to the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi management team for providing our students with this remarkable opportunity. The exposure to the world of hospitality, the insight into environmental conservation, and the chance to engage in real-world training will undoubtedly have a profound impact on their career choices. We hope this experience will inspire our students to pursue fulfilling careers in the hospitality industry of the Maldives.”

Mr. Abdulla Atham, the Resort Manager at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative and to contribute to the educational development of these bright students. At Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, we believe in nurturing young talent and instilling a sense of responsibility towards our environment. We are excited to have five promising students join us for their industrial training, and we look forward to helping them grow and succeed in the world of hospitality.”

This educational visit to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi has opened doors to exciting opportunities for many students living in the nearby island of the resort, providing them with a unique and insightful introduction to the hospitality industry while fostering a sense of environmental responsibility.

For more information about Sun Siyam Resorts and its sustainability initiatives, please visit the website at www.sunsiyam.com/sun-siyam-cares

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