With about 99% of the country’s area consisting of the ocean, marine life and conservation is vital in the Maldives. The coral reef systems are some of the most important ecosystems in the world and the abundance of fish species is world-renowned, making it a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkellers. The conservation measures in place mean that the Maldives is a safe haven for many endangered species and seeing sea turtles and reef manta rays is commonplace due to the thriving populations locally.
Hurawalhi works very closely with the Manta Trust and has a dedicated Marine Biology Centre on the island, along with resident marine biologists who work tirelessly on research and conservation projects such as the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP). Driving the conservation forward into the local community is an important part of protecting the rich and diverse marine environment for future generations and on the close-by local island, Hinnavaru, they are operating an educational outreach programme at the Lhaviyani Atoll Education Centre.
The aim is to educate groups of local school students about the environmental issues the Maldives and their own local community is faced with and provide environmental initiatives to try tackle the problems and improve conservation. The program aims to raise students’ marine awareness and engagement, as well as passion for the marine environment, instilling a desire to protect marine ecosystems. The hope is that this will, in the future, be rolled our nationally as part of the core curriculum.
The MMRP believes that encouraging children to learn about their own natural resources is the most effective way to spread awareness and educate the younger generation about marine environmental conservation. The custodians of the vulnerable environment of tomorrow are the children of today.
Hurawalhi Maldives is proud to support this educatioanl initiative and has funded the donation of snorkel equipment to the school, this will be used by students particpating in the programme for years to come.