The Six Senses Laamu team with their award; General Manager Marteyne Van Well is in the center
The BlueGreen360 Awards celebrates businesses and individuals in the ocean tourism industry which have proven their dedication to sustainable tourism within the communities they operate. The award program focuses on liveaboards, resorts, dive operations, and cruises in the Asia Pacific region with winners announced at the Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) in Singapore.
This year, the boutique resort Six Senses Laamu was awarded Resort of the Year for its commitment to sustainability. The panel of judges consisted of Rili Djohani, Executive Director of the Coral Triangle Center; Jerker Tamelander, Head of UN Environment Coral Reef Unit; and Chloe Harvey, Programmes Manager at the Reef-World Foundation.
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu Atoll, which lies in the southern part of the Maldives. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the resort prides itself on its commitment to sustainable operations and development as outlined by Agenda 21 and Green Globe Benchmarking.
General Manager Marteyne Van Well was in Singapore to receive the award on behalf of the resort. As an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer, Marteyne understands the importance of ocean conservation and sustainable development.
Some of the key initiatives created by the resort:
- Six Senses Laamu has laid the foundation to be the first plastic-free atoll in the Maldives by 2020.
- Creation of an Earth Lab; a centralized hub of recycling and innovative ideas. Glass is recycled into pots, vegetable waste becomes compost, and wood into charcoal. For example 660kg of recycled glass light covers were produced in the Earth Lab.
- The resort enforces a strict “no-take” stance on the purchase of endangered or vulnerable fish from local fishermen.
- The resort funded and created the first Turtle Festival in Laamu, “Turtles in Laamu, Safe and Protected,” which had more than 600 attendees.
- In 2014, they created and distributed the country’s first ever Dolphin Watching Code of Conduct as well as a turtle interaction code of conduct.
- Six Senses Laamu partners with international NGOs such as the Manta Trust, the Blue Marine Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project.
- Reef Check, Fish Watch, Shark Watch, barnacle studies and biodiversity surveys are conducted year round with data submitted to the IUCN, Marine Research Centre, and the Olive Ridley Project.
- Their reusable bag initiative teaches local women to make bags from old clothes, eliminating the need for single-use plastic bags.
- The resort provides marine education to local youth in all 13 schools in Laamu.
- Bi-monthly community meetings are held about waste management, marine reserves, and internship/employment opportunities.
- Designated plastic, metal, paper, glass bins are constant reminders to guests about the importance of waste segregation. Guests are encouraged to bring batteries, lighters, and plastic back to their respective countries for recycling.
- Bicycles are provided for transportation around the island.
- Suppliers are asked to reduce any necessary packaging in all deliveries.
- The resort conducts beach and reef clean-ups, tree-planting sessions, local community visits, and turtle and manta naming
The BlueGreen360 Awards also recognized Scuba Junkie, Malaysia (Dive Operator of the Year), AB Wonderdive, Philippines (Green Fins Award), and Dennis Bait-it, Philippines (Personality of the Year). Learn more about the awards here.
A Six Senses employee recycles glass at the Earth Lab
Planters made from recycled glass at the Six Senses Earth Lab
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