Gili Lankanfushi Celebrates World Environment Day

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World Environment Day is the UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. It is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth.

At the heart of Gili Lankanfushi is sustainability. We pride ourselves on our care of the environment and our passion for conservation. We do everything where possible to preserve both our land and marine environments. Which is why Gili Lankanfushi supports World Environment Day wholeheartedly. This year the theme was Beat Plastic Pollution and we tackled this challenged head on with a variety of activities.

Reef clean participants

Firstly, we hosted an hour long reef clean on our One Palm Island house reef. Items collected included plastic bottles, a wooden pole, a concrete block and glass bottles. This waste is environmentally degrading especially the plastic. When plastic breaks down it releases toxic chemicals into the water and can pollute the surrounding reef and kill the marine animals living there. It is estimated that plastic pollution kills over 100 million marine animals per year. Additionally, plastic especially microplastics (big pieces of plastic that overtime break down into smaller plastic pieces) can be consumed by fish, turtles, sharks and manta rays. These plastics will slowly block the stomach of these animals leading to their untimely death. It is estimated that 2/3 of all fish in the ocean have eaten plastic or been exposed to it in some form. Which is why keeping our reefs and beaches clean is paramount to the survival of our marine life.

Turtle encountered on reef clean

We then conducted an hour long presentation about plastic. Key information included what are plastics, what happens to plastics in the ocean, why we should care, why animals and humans are effected and finally what we can do to make a difference. Here at Gili Lankanfushi we work in partnership with an NGO called Parley that help us to recycle our plastic. We also work with the local island Himmafushi and we recycle their plastic as well. They send us over 100kg of plastic to be recycled weekly. Additionally, in the guest areas we have a zero tolerance policy with plastic and for the hosts we train them biannually to reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse plastics whenever possible.

Finally, we concluded the day with an environmental movie: A Plastic Ocean. This documentary follows a journalist, a free diver and a team of international scientists and researchers on their journey around the world to explore the oceans and uncovers the harsh reality of plastic pollution, along with revealing some solutions that can be put into immediate effect to help the ocean. Overall the day was a huge success with one guest saying that now whenever she walks along the beach she will look for plastic to clean up.

Thank you to everyone involved in the day’s activities.

Octopus encountered on reef clean