RIU’s Natural Treasure in the Maldivesdate_range 23 February, 2023 question_answer Leave your thoughts
You probably know that there is an idyllic destination in the middle of the Indian Ocean that we all dream of visiting, where we can unwind and relax while strolling along white sandy beaches: the Maldives. What you may not know is that the islands are grouped in atolls, meaning that they are part of a coral reef. So we can say that this enchanting place exists thanks to the corals. Today we want to introduce you to a very special protection and conservation project that we support: Blue Reef Reforest.
The Blue Reef Reforest programme in the Maldives
Has you ever wondered why the water in the Maldives is such a distinctive and unique turquoise colour? This is something we have to thank the corals for, an ecosystem of high ecological value as well as a key tourism resource for the islands. That is why the Blue Reef Reforest programme has such a clear aim: to restore the coral reefs that are so important to the islands. To achieve this ambitious goal, the project is based on two key elements: the reforestation of the coral structures in the RIU House Reef and training sessions given to the local community.
The RIU House Reef in the Maldives
Our hotels Riu Atoll and Riu Palace Maldives are on the islands of Maafushi and Kedhigandu, part of the Dhaalu atoll. Between them is an interior lagoon that connects to the sea. This is where the RIU House Reef nursery is located, created to restore the coral structure that used to exist in this area by rehabilitating the 30 islets of coral it is composed of. Would you like to find out more? Well, you’re in luck! It is just 6 metres from our hotels, and the Blue Reef Reforest programme offers training sessions and visits to the RIU House Reef to all our guests, where you can discover how to snorkel responsibly, and even adopt one of the small coral branches!
RIU’s Commitment to the local community in the Maldives
Although the Blue Reef Reforest programme is part of the biodiversity area within RIU’s CSR, the activities carried out are also aimed at the well-being of the local community and children. At the beginning of the programme, the RIU team attended training sessions offered by the programme’s biologist as well as visits to the RIU House Reef. This way, all the participants were able to understand the importance of protecting coral reefs and snorkelling responsibly, among other things.
The Blue Reef Reforest biologist also travels to the DH. Atoll Education Centre, on the neighbouring island of Kuda, to give environmental awareness workshops to students. And there’s more! Do you know of a better way to learn than seeing with your own eyes the stunning corals you’ve heard so much about? We don’t think so, and that’s why our staff in the Maldives continue to get involved in the project by organising visits to the dive site where the coral reefs are located. While one half of the group of students enjoys the RiuLand Kids’ Club with the entertainment team, the other half puts into practice everything they have learnt in the training sessions, and vice versa. The icing on the cake for this fun-filled day focused on coral conservation is a delicious lunch at our hotels before the students return to Kuda.
So, now you know! If you want to spend some unforgettable days in the Maldives and get to know them in a different way, you can book your stay at the Riu Atoll or Riu Palace Maldives and take part in one of the Blue Reef Reforest sessions. Together we will be able to care for and protect the coral reef ecosystems, which are so important and valuable for the planet.