Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) at Six Senses Laamu secures Responsible Tourism Award


Maldives
PUBLISHED February 07, 2020

The Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) at Six Senses Laamu has been awarded Best for Wildlife and Nature Conservation Award for its #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign at the World Travel Markets Responsible Tourism Awards.

In 2017, Six Senses Laamu recognized the ecological importance of seagrass habitats as part of its sustainability commitment and "Responsible & Caring" value. It pledged to play a more active role in conserving the seagrass meadows in the Laamu Atoll through its Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI).

MUIs work encompasses all of the marine research, education and community outreach by Six Senses Laamu and its three NGO partners, including Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), the co-initiator of the campaign.   

In 2019, the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign rallied one quarter of all resorts across the country to join the cause and pledge protection of over seven million square feet (655,000 square meters) of seagrass, the equivalent of 90 football fields. In addition, the Maldives Ministry of Tourism officially endorsed the campaign, illustrating that tourism and seagrass can in fact coexist and even flourish.

"Caring for local communities and ecosystems and promoting responsible tourism are our core beliefs. With the number of new resorts being developed in the Maldives, it is vital that tourism is conducted sustainably to protect the countrys unique marine environment. Our guests come from all over the world to witness the unique biodiversity and see turtles and rays in their natural home during their stay," commented Marteyne van Well, general manager of Six Senses Laamu.

Laamu is home to 125 reef manta rays, which display courtship behavior during two periods each year: May to June and October to November. Each year the Manta Trust has identified between one and 11 pregnancies. The portable dive rig enables the team to scan wild pregnant reef manta rays in order to study gestation and embryonic development in the wild and guide conservation strategies for this threatened species.

Every day (except Fridays) at Six Senses Laamu, MUI marine biologists present on various marine conservation topics in the Ice Cream Parlor. Guests can find out about some exciting facts on manta rays, turtles, whales and dolphins, sharks, coral reefs and sustainability practices.

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