The Baa Atoll, Maldives has been declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve – an area of natural excellence recognised for its unique harmony between man and nature.
It now joins an illustrious list of international Biosphere Reserves including the Central Amazon (Brazil), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Niagara Escarpment (Canada) and Yellowstone National Park (United States), among others.
World Biosphere Reserves are places where conservation, research and development successfully interconnect. They integrate biological and cultural diversity, combining core protected areas with zones where sustainable development – and innovative approaches to it – are fostered, tested and developed by locals and enterprises alike.
During its designation at the 40th anniversary of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program in Dresden, Germany in June 2011, UNESCO recognised the Baa Atoll’s “great potential for demonstrating sustainable development throughout the Maldives and the region, while relying on a green economy.”
The Baa Atoll is home to some of the richest waters in the Maldives. Like many Baa Atoll inhabitants, the team at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru worked on numerous essential plans and assessments to assist the Maldivian government’s Atoll Ecosystem Conservation Project’s (AEC Project) goal for UNESCO status.
Pioneering research conducted by the Resort’s Maldivian Manta Ray Project (run in conjunction with the Save Our Seas Foundation) helped establish the renowned manta ray and whale shark feeding site of Hanifaru Bay as one of the core protected areas of the Reserve.
Other relevant initiatives at Landaa Giraavaru include the development of Reefscapers, a ground-breaking coral propagation project in existence at the Resort since 2005; the establishment of the Atoll’s first Marine Discovery Centre in 2009, complete with ornamental fish-breeding lab and clinic for injured turtles; the Baa Atoll Youth Project (since 2009), to raise awareness among and support local young people with conservation efforts on their home islands; and the Island Waste Management Project, supporting waste removal from three local islands to prevent dumping at sea.
Also in Maldives today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Male.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Male.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.