Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soneva Gili Building A Sustainable Future

Soneva Gili Resort is now in the process of designing an Eco Centro “Waste to Wealth Center.

Waste to Wealth

The project started back in early 2011 when I was asked to go and assess the current herb and vegetable gardens. As with Soneva Fushi the soil Ph was high in alkalinity 8-10 and no soil life after 10 years of no organic matter returned to the impoverished soil which is really sand. Vegetables and herbs had been grown through the use of imported cow dung, coco peat and compost.

Soneva Gili does produce Bio Mass, food waste like any other resort and from the STP (Septic Treatment Plant) nutrient rich water. As shown at Soneva Fushi just by adding food waste in a deep pit combined with the existing poor soil and toped with mulch and planted with nitrogen fixing plants soil Ph and soil life can be restored in a short space of time, about 1 Ph point per month. 

Sustainable tropical soil rehabilitation "Growing Soil"

Compost and mulch is also required as in the tropics these need to be added at least 6 weekly and I would go sooner with a fertilizer programme of every 2 weeks alternating with organic matter (compost, mulch) and a liquid fertilizer.

Finished and growing sugar cane and lemon grass

As Six Senses Resorts philosophy is SLOW LIFE Sustainable.Local.Organic.Wellness    Learning Inspiring Fun Experiences Eco Centro’s are essential to handle all waste inputs and waste generated on the Resorts.

Sharaz with harvest

Soneva Gili is now building their Eco Centro.

Start of Eco Centro  Soneva Gili

As with all Permaculture design all principles have been employed during the design and construction. We have redesigned the mushroom growing areas to incorporate ease of use through necessary work stations linked together and minimizing the need for energy by designing in cross flow ventilation where needed and sealed doors where necessary in the air conditioned starting container which will be insulated and clad.
Polystyrene boxes will be used as insulation and 20 % crushed glass will be added to cement for the floor slabs.

Mushroom production area

The Eco Centro will become a Waste to Wealth Centre, Food production unit (Mushrooms) Educational center with the aim to be self supporting through revenues from recycling metals, compost production, food cross charged to the various kitchens.
There is also the carbon emissions saved due to the recycling, reduction in food miles, guest experience, marketing benefits leading to increase in guest stays due to the Intelligent Luxury, SLOW LIFE focus.

All in all a Permaculture principle success of at least 3 uses.

With out the completion of the Eco Centro the benefits are already been seen.

Delegates from ICUN, FOA, India , Pakistan 

I was invited to speak at a MMF Mangroves for the Future Conference held in the Maldives. The learning seminar was on Sustainable Tourism and Coastal Care.
MFF was established post 2004 Tsunami with Bill Clinton Ex US President as Patron.
MFF has 8 participating countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Seychelles, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Maldives.

The topic was on the Waste to Wealth management Six Senses employees and how it can be replicated as these countries need to address the same issue... Turning waste to Wealth and not polluting their coastal waters. 

Patrick T Evans FOA Sri Lanka  Maldives

The following day after the conference 30 attendees toured Soneva Gili Resort looking at all heart of house facilities and the vegetable garden and the under construction Eco Centro. Comments were very positive confirming they had not seen a resort as committed or transparent about their operations and environmental policy.

The roof goes on 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful work. It seems so obvious and easy, once you've taken that step in the unknown, and its all worked out.
    The natural log edges are pretty. What materials did you use? Will they last, or are they part of the fertility?
    In Japan I used split bamboo, which interlocked then and made gorgeous curves. Its on my Cecilia Macaulay website Projects' page - Please visit, I need your good permie ideas and feedback.