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Addu and Fuvahmulah Join UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves

aerial view of Fuvahmulah, now one of the biosphere reserves
The Maldives' southernmost atolls Addu and Fuvahmulah have joined UNESCO's World of Network of Biosphere reserves.

The Maldives’ southernmost atolls Addu and Fuvahmulah have been declared as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. This declaration was made at 32nd session of the UNESCO International Coordinating Council. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program added 25 new Biosphere Reserves this year.

The UNESCO biosphere reserves seek to reconcile human activity with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Furthermore, they are a central element of UNESCO’s research and awareness-raising work to foster innovative sustainable development practices and combat the loss of biodiversity supporting communities and Member States’ understanding, valuing and safeguard the living environment.

Addu Atoll Biosphere Reserve

The southernmost atoll of the Maldives, Addu comprises a total of 30 islands. Likewise, 17 of these islands remain uninhabited. The atoll is also one of the most diverse coral reef ecosystems in the Maldives including; lagoons, reef passes, seagrass beds, sandbanks, coral islands, lush tropical vegetation, mangroves, wetlands, brackish lakes (locally known as kilhis) agricultural land and also residential areas.

According to UNESCO, the establishment of Addu Atoll Biosphere Reserve reinforces ongoing efforts to manage coral reef ecosystem services through sustainable development.

Fuvahmulah Biosphere Reserve

Fuvahmulah is a large island in the southern part of the Maldives. The new biosphere reserve encompasses an entire atoll ecosystem. This includes the most diverse of coral ecosystems in the country with healthy habitats and unique coral sand beach formations.

The surface of the island also holds the form of a very shallow bowl with two mangroves and wetlands (locally known as Kilhi) at medial low points, forming two small linked sub-catchments. Moreover, the Kilhis in Fuvahmulah has influenced the lifestyle of the island’s inhabitants. Most inhabitants of the island make a living mostly with tourism, small-scale fishing and agriculture.

Before, Baa Atoll remained as the only Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. UNESCO designates new biosphere reserves every year by the MAB programme’s governing body, the International Co-ordinating Council. Likewise, this council has a rotating elected membership of 34 UNESCO Member States.

Feature image by See from the Sky
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Veligandu Island Resort & Spa: A New Chapter of Excellence

Veligandu Island Resort has made an exciting announcement regarding the re-opening of the resort following the most recent enhancement. The resort has been captivating guests since its grand opening in 1984. Throughout the years, the resort has captivated its guests with personalised service and warm hospitality.

With this, Veligandu Island Resort has also won numerous hospitality awards over the years. This directly led to the resort establishing itself as one of the premier romantic destinations in the Maldives and beyond. As the resort continues its efforts to uphold the essence of Veligandu, the property recently started a refresh. This meant that the resort would be upgrading and renovating the island, its services, and the accommodation. The comprehensive refresh which began on June 1st, 2023, aims to accomplish a few goals. This includes elevating the guest experience by incorporating enhanced sustainability measures and cutting-edge technology while preserving the authentic Maldivian charm that defines Veligandu.

And now, the resort has officially announced that Veligandu Island Resort & Spa will be making a comeback just in time for the festive season of 2024/2025. With this, reservations are now open for stays beginning November 1, 2024. Whether you are a returning guest or visiting the resort for the first time, Veligandu is inviting you to experience the remarkable enhancements. With its upgrades, Veligandu is also offering its guests the chance to get 40% off on accommodation. Just keep an eye out for the reopening offer!

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