Saturday, April 16, 2011

We Are Being Watched !!!! The Word Is Spreading !!!

Permaculture project at Soneva Fushi heading towards success

By Maldives Traveller Staff
12 April 2011

For full article and pictures go to :

Soneva Fushi by Six Senses - located in Baa atoll, reached by a 30 minute seaplane ride - is one of the three luxurious tourist destinations by the Six Senses group in Maldives. All three resorts give a priority to eco-friendly tourism; after some very successful schemes in this regard, Soneva Fushi is now attempting Permaculture.
Details of the resort's ongoing 'Eco Centro' project - which commenced on 01 November 2010 - was recently published on - it was written by the permaculturist at the resort, Mark Garret. He is working to make sure there is a sustainable organic food production at the luxury holiday hideaway, which would comply with the Six Senses philosophy of S.L.O.W L.I.F.E (an abbreviation for Sustainable. Local. Organic. Wholesome. Learning. Inspiring. Fun. Experience).
Permaculture is a contraction of "permanent agriculture" or "permanent culture." It is concerned with the designing of ecological human habitats and food production systems. As a land use and community building movement, it strives for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive communities. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way they are placed by humans in the landscape. This synergy is further enhanced by mimicking patterns found in nature.
The concept offers rich potential to Maldives, with its sprinkling of hundreds of coral-islands spaced far apart from each other. Sustainable and eco-friendly ways of life are being frequently introduced and implemented by the resorts in the country, giving inspiration to the locals.
Soneva Fushi by Six Senses began the Eco Centro project with the 2020 target of Maldives in mind: to become carbon-neutral, and thus highlight itself as an example in being an advocate to climate-change adaptation. Meanwhile, Six Senses set a goal of becoming de-carbonised by 2012. De-carbonising is the next step beyond not producing any carbon emissions at all.
According to Six Senses, all its resort is set to produce renewable energy which could provide even neighbouring communities with a zero carbon source of power. According to officials of the Six Senses resorts in Maldives, the destinations frequently welcome a very well-informed clientèle on the subject of climate change, the importance of environmental conservation and reducing their carbon footprint. The guests are intimately involved with environmental and social projects the resorts undertake.
Six months into the Permaculture project, personnel involved in the project have now confirmed what sort of soil they are dealing with, and how alternate fertilizer to cow dung can be used in the country to produce high yield.  According to the resorts Permaculturist, Mark, after visual observations and and through testing for soil pH, results "showed sandy soil with no animal life or organic matter with little moisture retention". 
"The method of gardening was bare soil tillage using only imported cow dung," he wrote, adding, "The challenges were to introduce Permaculture systems to improve the soil without the use of cow dung as the Company directive was that no more cow dung was to be imported since there was no guarantee of them being pesticide free..."
Mark declared in the article that he had managed to convince the local gardeners to reintroduce organic matter through compost, mulching and using tropical garden bed designs - it used to be techniques common in ancient Maldives, when islanders on tiny, isolated coral-islands had to largely depend on self reliability. But the effective organic methods had since died out, with contemporary islanders struggling to yield high produce in agriculture; many have resorted to using excessive fertiliser and medicine.
Mark has also introduced Permaculture-based solutions to improve the soil, and reports that he has seen true success in the garden at Soneva Fushi. In addition to his advices, he complements the local gardeners as having changed various systems to suit the unique environment and situation in Maldives.
With ever advancing steps to accommodate luxury into eco-friendly environments, Soneva Fushi is notable among the global audience. The resorts 65 rooms, three restaurants and four bars, along with the Six Senses Spa, are not the only sources to full fill a well-deserved vacation. You can enjoy the natural wealth and beauty of the aquatic life in the Maldivian seas, observe them even while dry on a sunset cruise, and revel on the glorious beaches and turquoise shallows.
And what more could be rewarding than leaving all the this beauty - and the key that rejuvenated your spirit - with the satiating feeling of wellness that you are suffused with after helping to preserve it. With the resort's Permaculture project, guests would be leaving an additionally reduced carbon footprint, now. And in the long run, the resorts pioneering efforts could influence local communities, leading to a wealthier and healthier lifestyle to both the people and nature.

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