Preserve. Protect. For The Future.

16th July 2021

The Maldives tropical archipelago is home to some of the richest biodiversity in the world. The country’s coral reefs are the 7th largest in the world, with 250 species of coral and over 1000 species of fish. Maldives is an island nation where it’s inhabitants entire livelihood depends on biodiversity. Fisheries and tourism are the two largest industries, both heavily dependent on a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem. The importance of environmental protection and preserving nature is a priority for the future.

This month is all about raising awareness and ‘Plastic Free July’ – a Global movement that encourages millions of people around the world to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. A united effort to work towards cleaner streets, clearer oceans and sustainable communities. However, Plastic Free July is not just simply one month to stop using plastic, but rather finding innovative ways to adapt to a more sustainable way of living and eliminating the use of plastic now and in the future. Villa Hotels & Resorts prioritise environmental sustainability and caring for the natural environment. We believe in the power of change and raising awareness for future generations. We believe it is crucial to preserve and protect for the future.

On Friday 16th July, Royal Island Premium All-Inclusive Resort held a clean-up at the nearby sandbank located a short boat journey from the resort. This sandbank has been a part of Royal Island for over 20 years and over the years the dedicated resort team have nurtured and preserved the biodiversity and natural beauty of the island. Starting from just a small rounded area of sand, with love and care the sandbank has developed into a stunning long stretch of pearl white sand with lush coconut palms and a surrounding thriving reef in the azure waters. In addition to the variety of marine life, this delicate location is also home to White terns and Royal terns which lay their eggs in the sand and stay close to protect their young as they hatch on the sandbank.

Villa Hotels & Resorts team of motivated and environmentally conscious ‘Ocean Citizens’ from the resort joined together on this special day in a pledge to clean the sandbank of littered plastic and other debris. Several large bags were filled with rubbish, plastics and micro plastics and then taken to the Royal Island resort in preparation for donating to Parley – an organization addressing major threats towards our oceans and fighting for environmental protection through recycling initiatives and global projects. When it comes to the danger of plastics, we can understand that micro plastics which are found buried in the sand and in the ocean are in fact the most damaging to the natural environment, the marine life and wildlife. As the micro plastics end up in the ocean, the marine life such as tuna fish ingest the small plastic particles and this inevitably ends up in the food chain and has a further damaging effect on people. Preserving and restoring the sandbank’s natural beauty encouraged young ocean activists to reconnect with nature and take care of the fragile environment. Removing plastic from the sandbank is a rewarding initiative and especially knowing that by doing so we are creating a better future for nature and generations to come.

Valuing the very diverse and extremely fragile natural systems that form the Maldives is imperative for the future and the Maldives core industries. Recognising the importance and conserving precious resources starts from small steps which can lead to a greater impact nationally. Villa Hotels & Resorts aim to raise awareness and encourage ‘Ocean Citizens’ to make a difference and leave natural locations better than when they found them. Holding regular sandbank and ocean clean ups is just part of the sustainable initiatives held by the resorts.