Six Senses Laamu has been named Marine and Coastal category winner at the 17th Skal International Sustainable Tourism Awards, held at the at the 79th Skal World Congress in Kenya.
Six Senses Laamu was placed top in its category after three independent sustainability experts judged 62 entrees from 31 countries top in its category.
The award recognizes the resort’s commitment to the efforts of protecting Laamu Atoll’s marine environment by the Maldives Underwater Initiative, a nine-member marine team.
The team has been regularly monitoring the health of reefs since 2012. Their conservation and research efforts have since expanded across numerous disciplines, including coral restoration, seagrass, turtles, dolphins and manta rays.
Marteyne van Well, Six Senses Laamu general manager stated that as the only resort in the whole of Laamu Atoll, the resort holds responsibility to the surrounding environment and communities.
“The resort prides itself on its marine conservation efforts and the award recognizes the tireless work of our team.”
Marteyne emphasized the importance of the team's community outreach and education initiatives, adding, “Inspiring the next generation of Maldivians to be stewards of their oceans will be a critical step in protecting Laamu’s marine life.”
Since the bold pledge over one year ago to protect their 538,195 square feet of seagrass, Six Senses stated noted the benefits the resort has received, including additional protection to their beaches and their guests enjoying snorkeling with grazing green sea turtles.
After observing satisfactory results, the team is currently working on launching a nationwide campaign to encourage other resorts to join them in protecting the ecosystem.
As a further commitment towards their marine conservation efforts, the resort is also in partnership with three international NGOs: Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation and Olive Ridley Project, which are working towards the long-term protection of Laamu's marine resources, with a focus of Blue Marine Foundation being with the local community to create a network of marine reserves.
The marine team recently held Laamu's third annual turtle festival with their partner NGO Olive Ridley Project, where more than 1,000 community members and all of the atoll's 13 schools came together to celebrate the importance of sea turtles.