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local community members with access to safe drinking water from 97 donated water purification systems.
resident sea turtles and 138 resident manta rays identified and protected by our marine team.
square feet (933,000+ square meters) of seagrass meadows protected through the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign.
hectares in Laamu (the entire atoll) declared as a Mission Blue Hope Spot after a successful application from Six Senses Laamu.
Megafauna surveys of sharks, turtles, rays and Napoleon Wrasse conducted each year.
Laamu students participated in the Laamafaru Festival, a festival dedicated to educating and spreading awareness in the community for marine conservation.
The Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) is made up of resort marine biologists and three partners, the Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation and the Olive Ridley Project. The MUI team pursues marine conservation goals, through research, guest education and community outreach, with the overarching aim of protecting Laamu’s natural resources. This approach of collaboration and knowledge sharing, funded by the resort’s Sustainability Fund, has continuously proven successful in not only driving change and inspiring others.
The Sea Hub of Environmental Learning in Laamu (SHELL) is a multi-use space, designed for education and immersive marine conservation experiences. It is also home to our Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI). It features a central exhibition space which invites you to explore the colorful and vibrant local marine life during out-of-the-ordinary encounters, in addition to offices, a marine laboratory, cinema room, and kids’ zone. Virtual and augmented reality technologies and conservation art, further enhance the space, with the goal of bringing you a fully immersive experience. The central gallery, also called the Tank, boasts a high-resolution LED display floor and five educational viewing booths for kids and adults. It features diverse underwater scenes of the Laamu atoll to get up close and personal to selected micro-topics about marine life. Come to the SHELL for hands-on activities and to see how we manage our resources sustainably and carefully in Laamu.
The Manta Trust is a registered charity with the mission to conserve mobulid rays and their habitats through research, education and collaboration. Since 2014, the Manta Trust has been working with us to study the local manta ray population and educate guests and the local community about the importance and vulnerability of manta rays.
Just a 15-minute boat ride from Six Senses Laamu and 20-meters below the surface is Hithadhoo Corner, a series of large coral blocks teeming with cleaner wrasse eager to clean Laamu’s resident manta rays. Innovative research techniques allow the team to learn more about mating behavior and pregnancy.
Olive Ridley Project (ORP) exists to protect Maldivian sea turtles from threats. Since 2018, they are making this dream a reality through their work as part of the Maldives Underwater Initiative. ORP continues to safeguard Laamu’s turtles through a wide range of research projects including studying the local turtle populations, monitoring turtle nests laid at Six Senses Laamu as well as neighboring islands and collecting data on ghost nets found in and around the atoll.
We work with the reef fishers of Laamu Atoll to ensure all fish served on the resort’s menus are caught using sustainable fishing practices. Laamaseelu Masveriya means ‘exemplary fishermen’ in Dhivehi and is a code of conduct developed by Blue Marine Foundation for the fishers and the resort. This ensures that the entire process, from fishing to purchasing, is done sustainably.
In return, the local fishers’ livelihoods are protected, and they are rewarded through a benefits scheme. Over time the fishers collect points which can be used to purchase equipment such as new lines, ice buckets and lights. This is the first code of conduct of its kind in the Maldives and the hope is that other resorts will implement it too, creating a nation-wide sustainable reef fishing model.
A survey suggests that over 50 percent of resorts in the Maldives actively remove their seagrass meadows. To address this, the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), together with partners Blue Marine Foundation, collaborated with scientists to produce a seagrass monitoring protocol and campaigned to raise awareness, resulting in the protection of over 900,000 square meters of seagrass at resorts across the country.
Six Senses Laamu’s 115,000 square meters of seagrass meadows (16 soccer fields!) have been protected for several years, and the ecosystem is surveyed annually. These meadows are essential nursery grounds for many species of fish, rays and sharks, they are the primary diet for green sea turtles, they stabilize the sediment preventing erosion and they are one of the most effective carbon stores thus are vital in the fight against climate change.
In 2016, the sea rose beyond a bearable temperature for corals, particularly those in the tropics. This resulted in a loss of over 75 percent of shallow water corals in Maldives. Six Senses Laamu has since conducted a survey of our house reef every six months, focusing on corals, fish and invertebrates. The results from this contribute to a national project run by the Maldives Government.
Beyond this, we also conducted a reef restoration project and are currently investigating species diversity and the natural replenishment of the reefs, starting with coral spawning, which is not well known in the Maldives. In the first year of this research project we recorded 11 species of coral spawning at Six Senses Laamu’s House reef on five different months of the year- something previously thought to only happen once or twice a year. We hope that the results of our research will contribute towards better a understanding of coral reefs at a national level, feeding into better marine resource management.
Our marine biologists accompany sunset and dolphin cruises to share information about the two species we commonly see and to record valuable information about these sightings. In 2014, a Six Senses marine biologist developed the nation's first Dolphin Code of Conduct, which condemns dolphin harassment. Our teams also lead guided snorkel trips on the house reef as well as boat snorkel trips around the atoll, enlightening guests about the species they encounter. Why not join them?
We are in Laamu to leave a legacy; we are committed to leaving this beautiful and unique part of the Maldives better than how we found it. We achieve this through having a positive impact on the local community and giving back in the form of education, development, and service.
Some of the ways we reduce our waste include encouraging our suppliers to reduce packaging when delivering supplies and ordering in bulk whenever possible, banning single-use plastics and recycling all organic waste for mulching and converting to organic garden soil. We are one of only three hotels in the world that makes its own artisan chocolate, thus allowing us to eliminate all packaging. The same goes for microgreens, mushrooms and many types of vegetables, which we produce onsite.
We also fund many plastic free initiatives in Laamu’s community. Water filters sponsored by the resort eliminate the need for approximately 6 million plastic water bottles in Laamu atoll each year. We support L. Maamendhoo’s Women Development Committee which employs local tailors to produce reusable cotton bags for all households on their island, thus reducing plastic waste and creating new jobs in the community. In L. Kunahandhoo, reusable bags are also distributed to schools, recruiting a new generation of plastic free ambassadors!
The Sustainability Camp at Six Senses Laamu welcomes teens and their families who would like to spend quality time together while learning more about leading a more sustainable life after they return home. It covers the topics of “Zero Waste”, “Home Grown”, and “Nature Conservation”. Guests will gain insights into the resort’s operations and a skillset for leading a more sustainable life at home.
Eku-Eky, or ‘together’ in the local language of Dhievehi, is an initiative to strengthen relationships with Laamu Atoll communities, work towards sustainable development and achieve environmental conservation.
Through Eku Eky quarterly meetings, representatives from the atoll council and 11 island councils, women’s development committees, 13 schools, 5 police stations, and active local NGOs, come together to represent the voices of Laamu’s 18,500 residents. In recent years, we have seen a shift, with the ownership of this program moving away from the resort and into the hands of the community. The result is an open platform from which ideas can be shared and life can be improved for all residents of Laamu Atoll.
Since 2016, we have organized a community festival in Laamu Atoll, dedicated to educating and spreading awareness in the community for marine conservation.
In 2021, the festival expanded significantly with eight separate Laamafaru Festivals taking place simultaneously on different islands around Laamu Atoll. The success of this which was thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of leaders in local islands who took on the responsibility of co-organizing the festival with the resort sustainability team. By running festivals in different islands participation was not limited to transportation constraints and every student, teacher and parent in each school had the opportunity to participate in the festivals.
The festivals’ activities included speeches, discussions, and performances by students, teachers, principals, and local fishermen, all of which aimed to raise awareness of marine protection and sustainable practices. Sand sculptures, plastic up-cycling, and poster making were among the competitions in which the kids competed. Many schools also organized clean-ups in which students and community members gathered rubbish on local beaches and harbors, so benefiting their local surroundings while also learning about the Maldives' enormous waste management issue.
Fifty percent of water sales in all restaurant outlets goes into a project fund providing clean, reliable drinking water to local communities in need. This fund contributed to a reverse osmosis water plant to the regional hospital, thirty household water filters to a local island and larger water filters to all 23 schools and preschools in the atoll. In 2019, water filters were donated to all five of Laamu Atoll’s police stations and one Maldives National University - Gan Campus, providing plastic-free drinking water to 380 more people. This brings the total number of filters donated to date to 97, providing clean, plastic-free drinking water to the entire atoll, and avoiding an estimated 6.8 million single-use plastic water bottles annually.
Hello Hallu means ‘hello solution’ in Dhivehi. The program educates school students about the environmental issues facing their communities and encourages them to devise solutions to tackle these problems and mitigate their detrimental impacts. Hello Hallu focuses on promoting gender equality, as well as developing practical skills such as such as swimming, snorkeling and experiencing the marine environment first-hand. Since the program was launched, we have brought 568 students on snorkeling excursions, around half being female students.