MALDIVES, March 2018: This month, in celebration of both Earth Hour and Global Recycling Day, luxury Maldivian eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi is adding to its stellar environmental credentials with a campaign against single use plastics and a range of new marine conservation initiatives.
Kicking off on 18th March 2018, to coincide with Global Recycling Day, Gili Lankanfushi will host a Paddle against Plastic, which will see several members of the island’s marine biology team undertake a 12km paddle around three Maldivian islands on stand-up paddleboards whilst collecting waste plastic from the oceans. The endurance event aims to help clean up the surrounding seas, raise awareness of the overuse of single-use plastic in the Maldives, and encourage neighbouring resorts and hotel guests to put down their plastics for good. Trailblazing the movement towards sustainable travel in the Maldives, Gili Lankanfushi eschews the use of all single-use plastics on the island, providing guests with earthenware toiletry dispensers, distilled water in glass bottles and linen tote bags.
24th March 2018 will see the island celebrating Earth Hour with a day of marine conservation activities. Gili Lankanfushi’s marine biology lab, Gili Veshi, will host a workshop for both local marine biologists and hotel guests, educating visitors on the island’s pioneering Coral Lines project — which sees coral fragments grown in mid-water to replenish the local reefs — including how to monitor, protect and maintain the lines of growing coral. When evening falls, guests will be invited to Palm Beach to create an intricate lantern artwork in the shape of a branching coral. As Earth Hour approaches, the island will switch off all lights and plunge into darkness, and the lanterns will be lit to highlight the importance of protecting the fragile marine ecosystem. Guests wishing to further their conservation education can head to the open-air Jungle Cinema for a late-night screening beneath the stars of award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
Throughout the year, Gili Lankanfushi encourages island guests of every age to get involved in its environmental initiatives first hand, through coral watch dives with the Gili Veshi team to check on the growth of new specimens, Crown of Thorns eradication dives to remove the invasive starfish species, and monthly reef clean efforts to remove oceanic litter. Eco-minded little ones can get involved through educational treasure hunts along the shoreline, marine movies and interactive iPad games.
Rates at Gili Lankanfushi start at $1,440 per night on a room-only basis, based on double occupancy.
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Gili Lankanfushi: Located in the North Malé Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi opened in 2000 as the original over-water resort, Soneva Gili. In 2012, the island was acquired by HPL (Hotel Properties Limited), a Singapore-based company investing in hotels, lifestyle and properties around the world. Voted number one hotel in the world by TripAdvisor in 2015, Gili Lankanfushi is an easy 20-minute speedboat transfer from Malé international airport. Set in the middle of its own lagoon, guests enjoy a barefoot existence with 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean. Gili Lankanfushi’s 45 overwater villas, including the vast and secluded Private Reserve, offer unrivalled privacy.
Coral Lines Project: Launched in 2014, the Coral Lines Project aims to rehabilitate the coral reef – damaged by an intensive El Niño event and Crown of Thorn Starfish outbreak – through direct transplantation of mature corals onto lengths of rope suspended in mid-water and through indirect coral spawning from the nursery. Currently the nursery has 180 lines, each containing approximately 50 coral fragments, and is home to more than 8,500 corals. Frames are placed in a sheltered site, with optimal current and lighting conditions, are periodically cleaned and checked, and monitored every three months for fragment size and survival rates. The innovative project has now been adopted by six other Maldivian resorts.