United Nations
#OceanAction16822
Conserve the oceans surrounding the resort and beyond by supporting sustainable fisheries, protecting critical habitats and the species that live in them, preventing plastic pollution by reducing waste in operations, and educating people of all ages.
by Six Senses Laamu (Private sector)
Our aim at Six Senses Laamu is to preserve and protect our island and surrounding oceans. Through scientific research, education programs, community outreach, cross-sector collaboration, and innovative solutions, we are committed to working with a thorough understanding of the natural world so that we may raise awareness in others and inspire them to protect it as well.

The long-term goal is to establish Laamu Atoll and the entire Maldives as a Biosphere Reserve, or Marine Protected Area. Organizations such as UNDP, IUCN, EPA, and MRC have visited the resort to survey and gather data on our topography and biodiversity, in order to recommend protection measures to the government. Six Senses Laamu actively oversees its island and house reef; however, managing the marine environment outside of the resorts immediate jurisdiction is challenging, which is where the mechanisms of enforcement and governance come into play.

By creating and distributing a strict no-take seafood list, Six Senses Laamu has prevented atoll reef fishermen from catching ecologically valuable and vulnerable species whose populations may be under threat. Six Senses Laamu supports Blue Marine Foundations Maldives Grouper Fishery Project, whose goal is to improve the sustainability of the grouper fishery. BLUE will achieve this by proposing new minimum and maximum limits to the government which will prevent the catch and export of undersized groupers who have not yet had a chance to reproduce. Spawning aggregation sites, which are specific areas of the ocean, where groupers reproduce, will also be designated as marine protected areas to ensure the long-term survival of the wild grouper stock.

Six Senses Laamu's team of six marine biologists also conduct numerous, diverse research projects focused on other marine species, including manta rays, turtles, sharks, dolphins, fish, coral, and barnacles. Monitoring local populations of marine species enables the team to determine appropriate conservation management measures and advise authorities accordingly. Locally collected data contributes to larger national biodiversity databases and research efforts whose overriding goals are to protect critical habitats such as turtle nesting sites and seagrass beds. Six Senses Laamu is addressing the global issue of marine pollution by committing to eliminate single-use plastics from resort operations by 2022, and expanding the initiative to strive to be the first plastic-free Atoll in Maldives.

The greater objective for all of the marine conservation work that Six Senses Laamu engages in is to educate and inspire others to want to protect the seas as well. The objective is to implement a replicable education program, which has been developed and is being delivered to three local island schools. The curriculum is eight modules long and covers topics including atoll formation, marine ecosystems, coral reefs, climate change, marine protected areas, waste management, and more. The program will also be condensed and delivered to further away islands, in order to build better relationships between the resort and the atoll. By the end of 2017, the team will visit every island in Laamu Atoll, targeting three key audiences: school students, the island council, and the greater community.
Progress reports
14.1
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
NUTRIENTS
  • Other (please specify): Reduce plastic pollution in the oceans, prevent photodegradation of microplastics and entering into the food chain
14.2
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
14.4
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
14.5
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
Quantification
  • Blue Marine Foundation's goal is to protect 10% of the world's oceans by the year 2020.
14.7
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
14.a
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
14.b
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
14.c
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
December 2017
Review size catch limits for 4 grouper species and present new evidence to government for consideration as national policy, which will help to improve the overall sustainability of the fishery.
December 2018
Using innovative research techniques, such as stereo photogrammetry, to gather data about manta ray biology and behavior, in order to protect valuable wild populations and develop conservation initiatives.
December 2022
Elimination of all single-use plastics from resort operations, replacement of the main culprits of plastic pollution (bags, bottles, straws, etc.) with reusable or biodegradable alternatives
October 2017
Deliver eight module marine and environmental education program to the three local schools in Laamu Atoll.
Other, please specify
Financing - USD 100,000 in 2016-2017 to fund Blue Marine Foundation's Maldives Grouper Fishery and Conservation Project, working to protect and restore the wild grouper populations by providing evidence to revise national size limits and protect spawning
Other, please specify
Sourcing non-plastic alternatives to single-use plastic items that contribute most to waste. Local purchasing to reduce plastic packaging
Staff / Technical expertise
Training in innovative research techniques, such as stereo photogrammetry, data collection, and analysis
Staff / Technical expertise
Use marine biologists scientific knowledge and research at the resort to teach children about their surrounding marine environment and the species that live in it, ecosystem services it provides, and threats.
Basic information
Time-frame: 2016 January - 2022 December
Partners
Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Maldives
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Megan O'Beirne, Sustainability Manager, so-laamu@sixsenses.com, +9607705936
Olhuveli Island, Laamu Atoll, Maldives
Other SDGs
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