Besides being two of the most spectacular resorts on the planet, and a major destinations for scuba divers, Four Seasons Resorts Maldives are among the most environmentally and culturally responsible.
The resorts have won the Doing It All and Wildlife Conservation categories for large resorts in the Condé Nast Traveler (US) World Savers Awards 2012, which were created to honor the travel companies that are doing the most to help protect the planet and give back to their local communities. The resorts also received the runner-up award for the Education category in recognition dedication to Four Seasons Hospitality Apprenticeship Program.
Four Seasons Resorts Maldives environmental efforts began with the coral reef regeneration project, now known as Reefscapers, one of the most successful of such projects in the world. More than 2,400 coral frames have been propagated in the lagoons of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru, strengthening the islands' house reefs and providing new habitats for wildlife. The resorts have also adopted additional projects, from fish breeding to turtle conservation.
More than 265 young Maldivian students have graduated from the Four Seasons Hospitality Apprenticeship Programme to date. The resorts also host the annual Four Seasons Saqaafee Vaadha (Four Seasons Youth Culture Competition) and have opened two pioneering Marine Discovery Centers of research and education for guests and locals. Other efforts include water-bottling plants, plant nurseries, local education and awareness programs, health initiatives in support of local islands, support for local artisans, teachers, and the Manta Trust charity.
The team at Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru is working closely with local communities to ensure that the Baa Atoll World Biosphere Reserve becomes a world-class example of its kind, while at Kuda Huraa, the focus is on continuing to develop the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
Karen Misuraca is the author of several guidebooks, including Backroads of the California Wine Country; Backroads of the California Coast, and the newly released 8th edition of Fun with the Family Northern California. Check out Karen's new iPhone app, California Coast North.