The luxurious property, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru has hosted its pioneering Marine Biology Internship Program in collaboration with the Baa Atoll Council. Twelve students hailing from 12 islands in the pristine Baa atoll partook in the three-day program held from May 18 to 20, 2023. Through this program, the resort hopes to inspire the next generation of marine biologists who would take on a proactive role in protecting the oceans for many years to come.
The program was facilitated by Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru’s onsite marine biologists from conservation projects such as Reefscapers and Manta Trust. The comprehensive curriculum taught during the program flawlessly blended theory with practice and highlighted the unique Maldivian ecosystem and its inhabitants. This included species such as turtles, dolphins and gentle giants like Manta Rays – which are frequently sighted in the waters of Baa.
Armando Kraenzlin, Regional Vice President & General Manager at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru remarked, “We have long recognized our responsibility to contribute to the protection of the Maldives’ fragile marine world and we know that one of the most powerful and long-lasting ways to do so is through education. With the impact of climate change threatening communities and nature across the Maldives, we hope to support the nation’s youngsters to safeguard their heritage.”
During the span of the program, the students resided at the spacious ocean-surrounded accommodation which further fostered their connection to the UNESCO wilderness which they were keenly learning about through talk subjects and practical sessions. Some of the talk subjects that were spotlighted include Ecology in the Maldives; Manta Rays; Turtles; Dolphin Identification; and Maldivian Corals. The practical sessions saw a Coral Frame Building initiative which allowed the students to get hands-on experience of the property’s conservation efforts.
The main objective of this program was to inspire young Maldivians to consider Marine Science as a future career path. In order to aid this mission, the students were given a thorough understanding of the current situation of the Maldives’ fragile environment and were able to meet with professionals who dedicated their entire careers to ocean preservation. Interest was also sparked amongst them by showing how daily actions can make a difference – a knowledge that they can actively disseminate in their wider communities.
During the closing speech, Aishath Aalaa Khaleel, a participant in the program shared, “This program has not only strengthened our understanding of the marine world but has ignited a passion within us to protect and preserve these invaluable ecosystems. Thank you to our dedicated and knowledgeful marine biologists, guides, and instructors who have accompanied us throughout this journey. We will keep your support with us as we aspire to have a positive impact on marine biology and conservation.”
Following the tremendous success of this inaugural program, the Baa Atoll Council and Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru are already making plans to host the next edition in 2024. Reflecting on the future, Aalaa commented, “Let us embrace the upcoming challenges and opportunities. Let us continue to gain knowledge, conduct studies, and contribute to the health of our marine ecosystems. Together, we can create a more promising future.”