Anantara Kihavah Villas launch Coral Adoption Programme
posted | Thursday, 19 Jul 2012
Anantara Kihavah Villas has initiated the Coral Adoption Programme, a long-term plan designed to share learning experiences with guests, accelerate the regeneration of coral growth in the atoll reef, and ultimately ensure the future of the Maldivian destination.
Coral reefs, the most diverse type of marine habitat, protect the pristine beaches at Anantara Kihavah Villas and guard Kihavah Huravalhi Island’s crystal-clear lagoon. They also support an astounding array of tropical fish, crustaceans and molluscs. In June 2011 UNESCO declared the Baa Atoll a Biosphere Reserve.
But the coral reefs that surround the island archipelago of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll region are vulnerable to extreme weather and sudden environmental changes.
In 1998, more than 90 per cent of shallow coral reef in the Maldives died when El Niño, a climatic phenomenon, raised sea temperatures by 4°C. The coral has begun to regenerate since suffering from the bleaching event, but future temperature fluctuations threaten its survival.
During the construction of Anantara
Kihavah Villas in November 2010, the resident marine biologist created coral gardens and attached coral to iron frames in the middle of the Over-Water Pool Villas. Environmentally friendly and designed to promote the flow of water and nutrients, the frames are covered in sand to encourage coral to grow faster than it would naturally. This was done to prevent more damage to the Baa Atoll’s fragile marine ecosystem.
Although only a few months have passed, the reef is showing signs of recovery and marine life has begun to return. Guests at Anantara Kihavah Villas can participate in reef creation and contribute to the on-going conservation effort by adopting a coral frame. With the help of the resident marine biologists guests can transplant coral on to a frame which is then moved to the Over-Water Pool Villas. The growth of adopted coral frames can then be viewed online.