Sunday, June 12, 2011

Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu is a new resort by the Six Senses group that opened on the 2nd April 2011
Laamu is located on the privately owned Maldives' Olhuveli Island in the Laamu Atoll in the South of the Maldives.

As part of the Six Senses group of resorts Laamu is also aiming to be Decarbonized by 2020 in line with the Maldivian Governments decree.

The objectives of the visit were to meet with the key people to identify and establish the goals and needs from the gardens.

This would then follow an assessment of the site using Permaculture ethics and principles include a landscape site assessment looking at zone and sector analysis, soil testing and identification of resources available to further develop the current gardens and for future development.

I was then to look for a suitable site and design for an Eco Centro or Waste to Wealth Centre and other structures to support the gardens and waste management systems.

Leaf Garden 

In addition I was also exploring the commencement of a composting programme if possible and as there was an agricultural production on a local island we were going to visit and see if there was a possibility of improving the systems and working together to produce food for the resort.

Not only is Permaculture principles a consideration but the Six Senses philosophy of “SLOW LIFE”

Sustainable Local Organic Wholesome Learning Inspiring Fun Experiences.  

 The Landscape assessment showed the island could support an Eco Centro and at least 3000m2 for food producing gardens over 3 sites linking with the Eco Centro site.

Eco Centro Site 

The Eco Centro site was chosen as it was close to the generator complex. As this site was already emitting noise pollution 24/7 any further noise pollution from the processing of waste to wealth at Eco Centro would be absorbed. A proposed sound barrier had already been discussed and with dense vegetation grown around the Centro minimal noise pollution would impact on guests or hosts. The site would also have additional room for expansion as the resort grew and area for an educational and productive “Out Door Classroom”.

The site and design would minimize transport of inputs and outputs and link to the centralize food producing areas addressing the first 5 principles of Permaculture design.

  1. Relative location of elements placed to assist each other
  2. Each element performs many functions at least 3
  3. Efficient energy planning ( zones and sectors)
  4. Emphasis on use of biological resources over fossil fuels
  5. Energy recycling on site (fuel and human)

Soil pH

Soil testing showed the current Vegetable gardens pH @ 8-9 Alkaline.  Again the objective is to reduce the pH to 6-7 via organic matter, compost and mulch. 

Resources available to lower the pH include food waste, jungle trimmings, carpentry sawdust not treated, coconut husks, seaweed, cardboard, STP water (Septic Treatment Plant).

Incoroperating Paw Paw into Banana Circle

Resusing Waste to create Wealth

 To start using the waste I held a Banana and Paw Paw circle work shop. As shown this is an ideal Permaculture system to grow soil and produce an abundance of food in a small area.  This is a composting system that is self sustaining and works!!!!

More Waste To Wealth

First Banana Paw Paw Circle in the Laamu Atoll Maldives

Future plans to support the development of agricultural land on neighboring islands are a viable project. 

Mendhoo Island 

On the Island of Mendhoo there had been a thriving business up until the tsunami of 2004 hit. Until then 50 people were working and producing watermelon, papaya, and nursery stocks of casuarinas and other native fruit trees.

Nusery on Mendhoo Island

Due to the island being covered in sea water the salt levels rose and destroyed all the arable land. There are now signs of recovery and with good land management I feel confident it could become an important commercial operation again for the local communities. 

Tropical Food Forest
My time at Laamu was the third island I have now assessed  using Permaculture principles for sustainability in the Maldives and though they are all different the fact is if when assessing individually if you stick to the Philosophy, Ethics, and Principles of Permaculture within a very short time nature is showing you the design and “Waste” is everywhere to be found and waiting to be turned into “Wealth”  

Ying Yang

A Waste (Ying Yany surf break ) without me on it though an inmeasurable wealth to me when out there .

Permaculture and surf ... working with Nature not against it.   

1 comment:

  1. Aloha Dear Mark,

    I've been your fan for many years now. I moved to Hawaii from San Diego, CA., just over 2 months ago, and have started a small permaculture program here. You've been my inspiration all along.

    I visited the Maldives from Geneva, Switzerland (my birth city)in 1994, and fell in love with this fragile island country. I learnt to dive in the Maldives, and have been a passionate diver ever since. I have visited many of the islands, and was devastated when the corals bleached in 1998.

    I would love to visit Sonevafushi in the near future to meet you, and assist you, Kate and your wonderful team there.