We’re delighted to share some of the most recent achievements from Soneva’s SCIE:NCE Team. SCIE:NCE stands for Sustainability and Conservation of Island Ecosystems through Nurturing Collaborative Endeavours. Published every two months, this report will summarise some of our scientific research and conservation activities in the Maldives.
In Spring 2022, we are planning to build our SCIE:NCE centre at Soneva Fushi. A first of its kind in the Maldives, guests of all ages will be able to interact with academics undertaking scientific research. The centre will provide an entirely new dimension to our guests’ stays and hopefully contribute to their understanding of the natural world and the need to preserve it. A generous recent donation of USD 200,000 from one of our Private Residence owners has been a massive step towards making the SCIE:NCE centre become a reality.
October saw a visit to Soneva Jani by the renowned Oxford University astrophysicist, Dr Becky Smethurst. When leading scientists such as Dr Becky come to our resorts through our Soneva Stars programme, not only do they offer unique experiences for our guests, but also provide great opportunities for ongoing professional training for our in-house team, such as our astronomers.
Both of our Maldives’ resorts have their own smartphone app, with lots of details on our ongoing work at your fingertips. We recently added a bird compendium to the Soneva Fushi app, listing all the birds that can be spotted on the island, as well as a description of where they can be seen and how to identify them. Our keen birdwatchers even spotted a tree pipit in Soneva Fushi’s gardens, the second sighting of this species ever recorded in the Maldives!
For our ongoing Mosquito Project, we recently started discussions with our local island councils to roll out pesticide-free mosquito management programmes, similar to those that have been successfully implemented at our resorts. We also contributed to a workshop on mosquito-borne diseases organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) office in Malé and the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
We have recently made big steps in our efforts to restore the coral reefs around our resorts. In October, we launched what will become the largest coral nursery in the world – a partnership between Soneva Foundation, Coralive and Ark2030. By this time next year, we hope to have 50,000 pieces of coral ready for out-planting.
The Soneva SCIE:NCE Team continues to grow. In September, we recruited Jannah Boerakker who will take the Soneva Academy to the next level by developing online content, which we can’t wait to share with you very soon. And at Soneva Fushi we welcomed Laisa Mariyam into the SCIE:NCE team as our new astronomer. Laisa will be developing new star-gazing experiences and expanding our current portfolio of experiences by offering a course on astronomy for our younger guests.
Finally, after months of development, we have created a new product out of a waste stream: a scented hand sanitiser. The product has been tested and validated by three independent laboratories and has been found to be comparable to commercially available sanitisers.
Click here to read more about our latest achievements.