Dusit Thani Maldives plays its part in ensuring that the world's oceans are protected for future generations by organizing fun, inspirational, and educational activities for both employees and guests in honour of World Oceans Day 2012. Activities such as Coral Replanting, Reef Cleaning, and Beach Cleaning were initiated with the hope of encouraging both guests and employees to love and respect the oceans, and the incredible biodiversity that resides within them.
As Lauren Arthur, resident marine biologist of Dusit Thani Maldives said: "We hope we can inspire a generation of passionate marine conservationists through our initiatives, and it is for this next generation that we must protect the oceans and pass onto them a healthy and thriving marine environment that they can conserve."
Dusit Thani Maldives has been taking significant steps in protecting the marine environment. "Our resort has the distinction of being located in a world-renowned UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, where the rich tropical waters are filled with a diverse array of marine life, namely seasonal gatherings of the gentle giants: manta rays and whale sharks," says Niti Racharit, Resident Manager of Dusit Thani Maldives. "Our entire operation is geared toward achieving a carbon-neutral programme; we have been one of the leaders in sustainable resort development in the Maldives."
In addition, Dusit Thani Maldives is focusing on pioneering green energy solutions to ensure minimal impact on the Maldivian environment. Dusit Thani Maldives invested in state-of-the-art engineering facilities such as: solar thermal heating; an onsite water-bottling factory to reduce one-way plastics; a diesel steam boiler using minimal electricity for laundry; LED (light emitting diode) lights in all guest areas; and many more green initiatives are in place throughout the resort. Biodegradables are used for composting, fertilising and landscaping. Meanwhile, restaurant staff cultivate a herb and vegetable garden, which helps lower the carbon footprint and reduce reliance on imported produce.
Dusit Thani Maldives boasts a prime spot in the country's first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest swimming pool in the Maldives. Accommodation includes 31 Beach Villas, 15 Beach Villas with private pool, 30 Lagoon Villas with private pool, 20 Ocean Villas with private pool, 2 Beach Residences with private pool and 2 Ocean Pavilions with private pool. Additional amenities include international cuisine at the resorts restaurants and bars - Market, Benjarong, Sea Grill, Sand Bar and Sala Bar, as well as floodlit tennis courts, a fully equipped fitness studio with personal trainer & yoga instructor, a children's play area and club facility, a library and a dive centre. The Dusit Thani Maldives is just 35-minutes from Malé by seaplane, and 10-minutes by speedboat from the new domestic airport.
About Coral Replanting:
The Maldives is almost entirely dependent on tourism and fishing, the two largest contributors to the economy. Both of these industries rely on the continued existence of healthy, vibrant reefs that are appealing to tourists as they are to the fish that live in them. Further, coral reefs naturally protect the surrounding islands from wave action and erosion.
The main aim of our reef restoration project is to assist the natural recovery of our coral house reef. Due to the damage caused from construction of the resort and the increase in tourism activity from previously being a inhabited island, this program allows increased efforts to regenerate coral in the less productive, or damaged areas of our lagoon. This non-intrusive method will involve placing coral frame on the sandy bottom with fragments of coral pieces which have broken off naturally attached to it, which then grow to form coral colonies, supporting long-term reef resilience.
Most corals grow painstakingly slowly; only one or two centimeters per year. As a result, it can take many years for a reef to recuperate from natural or human damage. Judging by the size of many of these slow-growing coral colonies, it is reasonable to estimate that some of them may be well over one thousand years old! Hence why we will be using branching coral (Acropora), very fragile so easy broken off but the fast-growing for coral projects.
The coral will grow and create new and balanced habitats, therefore, this initiative has significant social, environmental and economical impact on the country. The benefits to the guests and the employees are the same - education. This activity has high educational value as a practical exercise to be involved in helping preserve and protect the marine environment. People will learn by listening to a short briefing by marine biologist, watch the replanting process and then do the process themselves. It will make people realise that we cannot turn back the clock - our efforts are only to help preserve and protect.
About Reef Cleaning:
Healthy coral reefs are clearly very important to sustaining life in the oceans, but they are also important to those of human living on land. The fish on or around coral reefs are a major source of food and income in many countries. In poorer countries, some coastal communities are dependent upon the reefs for a subsistence diet.
Shallow reefs act as barriers against waves, protecting shores and beaches from washing away in storms, and protecting coastal communities. As with tropical rainforests, coral reefs contain a great variety of little-studied animals and plants that may be a potential source of new medicines helpful to humans. Some sponges found on Caribbean reefs may contain a substance that can help fight cancer.
Finally, healthy coral reefs are a major tourist attraction, bringing needed dollars to many local communities in reef areas. Some of these communities are totally dependent upon this income from tourism, and their economies would collapse without it. Therefore, we need to keep it clean. Garbage is inevitable on the reef as it washed up from nearby local islands and many people still view the ocean as a trash can.