Shaviyani Atoll boasts one of the Maldives’ largest lagoons with crystal white sand, turquoise waters and abundant marine life. The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is located on the western rim of the Atoll and is famous for its tranquil blue vistas across the Indian Ocean to a never-ending horizon. First certified by Green Globe in 2021, the resort has been re-certified for its high standard of sustainable tourism with exceptional contributions to marine biology.
Samuel Dixon, Sustainability Manager, says, “We’re so proud to achieve our second Green Globe Certification as we strive to become market leaders in sustainable practices and innovation that inspires the next generation of eco warriors.”
Sustainability Lab Project
In February 2022, Fairmont Maldives launched the Sustainability Lab, which was officially opened by the Maldives Minister of Environment Aminath Shauna, Maldives Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi, and Maldives’ Special Envoy for Climate Change Ms Sabra Ibrahim Noordeen.
As tourism continues to grow and develop in the Maldives, so too does concern regarding single-use plastic and its impact on the pristine ecosystems. Experts claim that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Fairmont Maldives’ mission is to fully recycle all the plastic waste generated by the resort and surrounding local communities, and ultimately, remove ocean plastic from the Maldivian environment.
The Sustainability Lab is the first of its kind in the archipelago, containing specialised machinery designed by Precious Plastic that transforms and repurposes plastic waste into beautiful bespoke souvenirs for guests, useful school equipment, and unique and exquisite furniture.
The Sustainability Lab has already made a difference by recycling over 3,720kg of plastic into a variety of different products including luggage tags in the shapes of marine animals, school rulers, clip boards, tables, chairs, beach paddles, plant boards and much more. The lab has also started recycling glass by separating bottles by colour before crushing and embedding them into 25mm plastic sheets designed for tables.
Fairmont Award Scheme for Schools
As part of the Sustainability Lab Project the resort launched the Fairmont Award Scheme in December 2021. The scheme is active across 12 schools with numerous workshops, educational presentations and activities being conducted including beach and reef clean ups.
Fairmont Maldives also hosts these schools at the resort where the students are led through a workshop by local Maldivian Sustainability Ambassadors. Students are given a detailed orientation of the Sustainability Lab and the entire process from plastic waste to recycled plastic products. By showing children first-hand how plastic is not just garbage but can be used to make their very own furniture, the resort hopes to clearly demonstrate creative and useful ways of recycling waste. Fairmont Maldives aims to inspire the next generation of eco-warriors, who will lead the change in protecting the local environment and biodiversity from plastic pollution.
Marine Conservation: The Coralarium & Turtle Rangers
The Coralarium is the world’s first semi submerged art installation and most importantly it is the centre of Fairmont Maldives’ coral restoration program. The Coralarium is made using PH neutral non-toxic compounds that contain no harmful pollutants to marine life and help stimulate coral growth by catching vital biomass on its structure. After 5 years underwater, the Coralarium is covered in new live coral and provides the perfect habitat space for over 120 different fish species and marine life.
Protecting the Maldives’ rich biodiversity is essential to Fairmont Maldives sustainability. One of the most endangered marine species in the Maldives is sea turtles. The biggest problem facing sea turtles in the world today, is the large quantity of plastic and ghost nets (discarded commercial fishing nets) polluting the oceans.
In January 2022, Fairmont Maldives launched the Turtle Rangers Programme, where guests come and learn about turtles from the resort’s resident marine biologist. As part of the programme, guests can join guided snorkel tours to the house reef to collect photo ID data of turtles and actively help in the turtle conservation program. The resort has also launched branded rash-guards in collaboration with the Turtle Rangers Program, with all revenue from sales re-invested back into the Sustainability Lab Project.
To further emphasise the importance of tackling the plastics & ghost net problem, the resort has partnered with the Olive Ridley Project, an NGO based in the Maldives focusing on turtle research. A variety of conservation tasks, including nest protection, baby turtle release, rescue missions and photo ID tracking to monitor migration and lifecycle patterns are conducted as part of the program. In the last 18 months, the resort has released over 800 baby turtles born on their beaches, greatly contributing to the survival of the Maldivian Green and Hawksbill population. The resort hopes over the next few years to be able to contribute a larger quantity of photo ID data, essential for tracking migration patterns of the resident turtle population, as well as make new discoveries in turtle animal behaviour.