Environ Ministry signs MoU with CROSSROADS Maldives

S Hotels and Resorts PCL, the international hospitality company from Singha Estate PCL, has signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maldives Ministry of Climate Change, Environment and Energy on environmental protection and conservation efforts.

The agreement serves towards the preservation of the “idyllic island nation’s natural environment, share knowledge about the importance of conservation, and support CROSSROADS Maldives’ rich marine biodiversity.”

The first-ever integrated tourism resort project’s natural biodiversity as per the agreement, covers an area of 3.15 square kilometers – about 31% of the total project size – and is part of the Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) program.

A major ceremony was staged by CROSSROADS Maldives under the theme “Empower Minds, Foster Growth”, which was attended by senior dignitaries from the ministry. The top attendees include the Deputy Minister of Environment Ministry Hassan Mohamed along with the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Ajwadh Mustafa, Director Muhusina Abdul Rahman accompanied by the representatives of the ministry along with Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources, Ministry of Education, and the Maldives Marine Research Institute.

They were joined by senior executives from S Hotels & Resorts including CEO Michael Marshall and marine scientist Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat; the project leader, along with 20 students from various schools across the Maldives.

Under the MoU, S Hotels & Resorts is poised to play a key role in achieving the shared environmental objectives of the hotelier group and the government.

The Marine Discovery Center of CROSSROADS Maldives would be at the heart of the project, the innovative environmental and educational hub that features state-of-the-art laboratory and undertakes critical projects including coral propagation as well as breeding and release programs for endangered species.

Education is a key aspect of the MoU, and the initiative involves 20 students invited to the signing ceremony, who are given the opportunity to visit “these pioneering conservation and heritage centers.”

Future campaigns would be aimed at spreading knowledge among a wider range of social groups and ages.

This marks the latest phase in CROSSROADS Maldives’ partnerships with local schools, and since its inception in 2019, the integrated property has invited more than 1,800 students from neighboring islands to learn about conservation.

“We are delighted to sign this MoU with our highly esteemed partners at the Ministry of Climate Change, Environment & Energy. At CROSSROADS Maldives, we have always strived to protect the local environment and promote the livelihoods of the Maldivian people,” said Michael Marshall, the CEO of S Hotels & Resorts.

“Under this landmark agreement, we pledge to provide technical assistance, in-kind support and engage in outreach programmes for public education and awareness. This collaboration will also strengthen our position as an OECM and, in turn, contribute to the sustainable development of the Maldives.”

Speaking on the agreement, the Deputy Minister of the Environment Ministry, Hassan Mohamed said, “I would like to congratulate CROSSROADS Maldives on their conservation and awareness work through the marine Discovery Center.”

“Awareness and outreach play a pivotal role in preserving the biodiversity of the Maldives. As remarked by His Excellency, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu at the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.”

The OECMs project is an important part of S Hotels & Resorts’ long-term commitment to being a nature-based solution organization, and is aligned with the COP28 direction that aims to protect precious marine ecosystems and increase key biodiversity areas by 30% by 2030.

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