Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru launch marine biology internship program
The future of a nation is its youth – a truth acknowledged by a pioneering Marine Biology Internship Program hosted at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru in collaboration with the Baa Atoll
Council. Running from May 18 to 20, 2023, the three-day program inspired 12 students from 12 islands in the Baa Atoll to take a proactive role in protecting the oceans for generations to come.
Led by Four Seasons Landaa Giraavrau’s onsite marine biologists from conservation projects Reefscapers and Manta Trust, the program featured a comprehensive curriculum blending theory with practice. The focus was on the unique Maldivian ecosystem and its inhabitants including turtles, dolphins, and the ocean’s gentle giants, manta rays.
“We have long recognised our responsibility to contribute to the protection of the Maldives’ fragile marine world,” comments Armando Kraenzlin, Regional Vice President & General Manager at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, “and we know that one of the most powerful and long-lasting ways to do so is through education. With the impact of climate change threatening communities and nature across the Maldives, we hope to support the nation’s youngsters to safeguard their heritage.”
During the program, the Grade 9 students enjoyed daily meals and stayed within Landaa Giraavaru’s spacious ocean-surrounded accommodation, further connecting them to the UNESCO wilderness they were there to learn about. Talk subjects included Ecology in the Maldives; Manta Rays; Turtles; Dolphin Identification, and Maldivian Corals while practical sessions such as Coral Frame Building gave the
youngsters a hands-on experience of the Resort’s conservation efforts.
By fostering an understanding of the Maldives’ fragile environmental situation and introducing them to experts who have dedicated their careers to ocean preservation, the mission was to inspire young Maldivians to explore Marine Science as a future career choice. The youngsters also learned how daily actions make a difference, knowledge they can take back to their wider communities.
On May, 20, 2023, making a closing speech on behalf of her fellow students, passionate young ocean protector, Aishath Aalaa Khaleel, commented: “This program has not only strengthened our understanding of the marine world but has also ignited a passion within us to protect and preserve these invaluable ecosystems. Thank you to our dedicated and knowledgeable marine biologists, guides, and
instructors who have accompanied us throughout this journey. We will keep your support with us as we aspire to have a positive impact on marine biology and conservation.” In a speech addressing how vital this generation would be as guardians of the surrounding UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Mr Ahmed Afrah, President of Baa Atoll Council, stressed that “every action makes a difference”, while highlighting the
importance of preserving the atoll for caring visitors of the future – tourism is the area’s largest source of income.
Ms Ifaasha Abdul Raheem, teacher representative for all Baa Atoll schools, spoke movingly about how “the responsibility lies with all of us, as educators, parents, and members of the community, to instil in our students the values of environmental stewardship….let us continue to work together, hand in hand, to preserve and protect the wonders of our marine environment for generations to come.”
With the first program being such a resounding success, the Baa Atoll Council and Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru are already planning a similar experience for 2024. Reflecting on the future, student Aalaa went on to say: “Let us embrace the upcoming challenges and opportunities. Let us continue to gain knowledge, conduct studies, and contribute to the health of our marine ecosystems.
Together, we can create a more promising future.”
For more information on the marine conservation projects at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, visit marinesavers.com.