International Environmental Award goes to the Maldives

Friday, 21 January 2011 21:27

TUI AG awarded this year’s International Environmental Award to the Maldives.

The winner is the Eco Centre on the Maldives island of Kuramathi in the Rasdhoo atoll. The prize is worth 10,000 euros and this year has been awarded for work in protecting the coral reefs. The Eco Centre, headed by Dr Reinhard Kikinger, has been fully committed for more than 10 years to protecting the coral reefs in the Maldives. Coral reefs are one of the world’s most biodiverse systems, but at the same time are also one of the most sensitive ecosystems. The International Environmental Award was granted today in the presence of the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed.
"Water pollution and over exploitation through tourism can lead to irreparable damage. The compelling concept of the Kuramathi Eco Centre for bringing nature conservation and tourism into harmony is based on research, the sustainable use of resources and the raising of public awareness, which are performed in cooperation with TUI and the local population. From the very beginning TUI was involved in the commitment of the research centre as an important partner playing a catalytic role. A project currently being undertaken is the production of a computer animated short film for tourists highlighting sustainable behaviour in coral reefs. Several times a week video presentations are shown revealing the coral reefs habitat. On top of that are microscopic demonstrations which provide tourists with an insight into concealed worlds. And guided snorkelling safaris reveal the beauty of and also the threats facing the underwater world. Moreover, the Eco Centre cooperates with the school on the neighbouring island of Rasdhoo," TUI informed.

Following the coral bleach after the el Niño, Ali Norordeen, Director of Universal Resorts, founded the Eco Centre in 1999. His aim was to explain the fragile eco system in the Maldives and help to protect it by informing and educating the Tourists.


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