The First Baa Atoll Manta Festival
You have not heard about the Manta Festival yet? Or you live too far away and were not able to attend? Here and on our facebook page we have some photos and stories of the day for you.
The Maldives’ first ever Manta Festival was designed to celebrate and conserve manta rays and the marine ecosystems they rely on. It was a very popular event attended by school children and their parents, resort guests and employees and various dignitaries.
It started at 10 o’clock on Saturday morning the 24th November 2018 on Dharavandhoo Island in the Baa Atoll with schools, resorts and NGO’s setting up their stands. Kihaa Maldives provided 200 pieces of crockery for the event to avoid using single use plastic plates.
Each resort made 100 cloth bags made from reused materials to be used instead of plastic bags. These bags were given out at one of the stands where the students were able to decorate their own bag with different underwater themed stencils and lots of paint.
The Baa Atoll school children could enter several competitions and of course win prizes like a snorkel set, first dive, snorkel trips, t-shirts, dinner and an overnight in a resort. To enter they need to create:
- Art with the theme “underwater world”
- Photos with the theme “ocean”
Throughout the day we had…
Informative presentations by
- Parley for the Oceans – raise awareness for our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end the oceans destruction.
- Atoll Marine Centre – run marine conservation programmes and provide environmental education in the Maldives.
- Zoona Naseem, the first Maldivian female PADI Course Director
- Olive Ridley Project – protect sea turtles in the Indian Ocean through research, education, rehabilitation and by promoting the reuse of end of life fishing gear.
- Environmental Protection Agency – protect the Maldivian people and safeguard the environment from harmful effects of exploitation and pollution.
- UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Baa Atoll – committed to raise awareness and keep up the outstanding natural values of the Baa Atoll.
- Marine Savers – specialize in coral propagation techniques, to rebuild damaged reefs and run a turtle rehabilitation centre that can accommodate injured animals whilst they are nurtured back to health.
- Manta Trust – worldwide conservation of manta rays and their habitat through robust science and research, while raising awareness and providing education.
- the Environment minister Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan
- the former president Mohamed Nasheed
- the Dharavandhoo Council
- Local dance groups
- Bodu Beru music, singing and dancing
- Live Music by famous Maldivian Musician Shiuz
We hope that we can repeat the success of this years festival in 2019. A big thank you to the organizers Manta Trust in partnership with Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the Dharavandhoo Council, with a special mention to Flossy Barraud from Manta Trust.