Renowned international conservation organisation Biosphere Expeditions and two Six Senses properties, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili have teamed up to create two scholarships for Maldivians with a dive qualification and English language skills to take part in a new coral reef & whale shark study being conducted in September 2011. Scholarship recipients will be trained in reef and whale shark research techniques and assist scientists from around the world in a study designed to provide data to the Maldivian government so that informed conservation decisions can be made.
The project, based on the liveaboard Carpe Diem cruising the archipelago, will see Biosphere Expeditions, the award-winning not-for-profit conservation organisation, working with the Maldives Marine Research Centre (MRC) of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Reef Check and the Marine Conservation Society to study and safeguard the spectacular coral reefs and the resident whale shark population.
Successful scholarship applicants will be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in the marine environment and that they will use the experience to the benefit of the Maldives’ marine resources, carrying the message to other people and multiplying the effect of their experience. More information about the scholarship and how to apply is at www.biosphereexpeditions. org/scholarships > Tab “Maldives” and below.
Dr. Matthias Hammer, biologist, Reef Check trainer and Executive Director of Biosphere Expeditions, says “The coral reefs of the Maldives archipelago and the fish populations that live amongst them are extraordinarily diverse and rich. They are also in a relatively pristine state and having both these factors together is quite rare. As less than one per cent of the world’s oceans are protected, it is very important that we monitor and manage areas that are doing well. This is especially true for the Maldives, where the economy and well-being of an entire nation is largely dependent on a healthy & sustainably managed marine environment. We are delighted to be working with the Maldivian government and people and look forward to hosting our scholarship winners on the expedition in September. We are also very grateful to Six Senses for their investment and support in this project over four years.”
Kate Wilson, marine biologist at Soneva Fushi, adds “These scholarships will allow Maldivians to work alongside and learn from some top marine biologists, enabling them to get hands-on experience of monitoring coral reef ecosystems and whale sharks in the Maldives. It is a fantastic opportunity for keen and enthusiastic divers that want to develop skills in marine surveying, enabling them to continue surveying long after the scholarship ends. We are thrilled to be working with Biosphere Expeditions who will be contributing vital data to the Maldives government on coral reef health.”
Also note press conference on 3 September 2011
Biosphere Expeditions and Six Senses will be holding a press conference on 3 September at 10:30 at the Nasandhura Palace Hotel, just before the Biosphere Expeditions team embarks on its first ground-breaking research expedition. Meet the international team of volunteers, the Maldivian scholarship recipients, the scientists behind the expedition and witness the official handing over of a marine educational booklet to the Maldivian government. The head of the Marine Research Centre and other dignitaries from the Ministries of Tourism, Youth & Sport, as well as Education are expected. Also present will be Dr. Matthias Hammer, Founder & Executive Director of Biosphere Expeditions. Media representatives are cordially invited to this event. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for editors
Biosphere Expeditions is a multi-award-winning not-for-profit wildlife conservation organisation offering hands-on volunteer expeditions as an adventure with a purpose for everyone. Biosphere Expeditions is for people from all walks of life who want to help support and conserve the biosphere that we all live in. Biosphere Expeditions gives people a way to harness their enthusiasm and put it to good effect by coming to work on conservation projects simply using the money and time that they would have spent going on an ordinary holiday.
Six Senses Resorts & Spas is a management and development company established in 1995, which manages resorts under the brand names Soneva, Six Senses and Evason, plus Six Senses Spas. Soneva Fushi, Soneva Gili and Six Senses Laamu are the Six Senses Maldivian properties.
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