Inspiring the next generation of Ocean Guardians with the Maldives’ First Manta Festival

The first ever Baa Atoll manta festival is being hosted by the manta trust on 24th November 2018 on Baa. Dharavandhoo. This festival is held to celebrate the diverse marine life of the Maldives and raise awareness of threats to it such as climate change and plastic pollution-amongst local communities and schools.With generous donations of luxury tourist resorts in Baa Atolls School Student will have the opportunity to learn to snorkel. The festival will be held in Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a world famous destination to see manta rays known as gentle giants of the ocean.

The festival will include informative talks from marine biology and conservation experts. Competitions and educational stalls from a fantastic variety of local marine and government organizations resorts marine biology teams, and school students will take part in the festival. Maldivian celebrity ‘shiuz’ will be performing on the festival along with traditional music and food from local communities. Festival entrance is free for guests and visitors.

This event is bringing everyone together including schools, communities, resorts and environmental organizations in Baa Atoll and beyond to celebrate and raise awareness of our ocean. while being surrounded by the ocean, its sad that we are so disconnected from the beautiful creatures because they are facing huge human-driven threats just off our shores.

According to outreach officer for the biosphere reserve office Shafee Ali, we can all come together to start to make a change.The manta trust is delighted to be partnering with the biosphere reserve office, four seaon resorts, Baa Atoll council and dharavandhoo council to deliver this exciting event. The festival will be sponsored by 12 luxury tourist resorts in Baa Atoll-four seasons, Vakaru Coco palm, Kihaa Maldives, Anantara Kihavah, Royal Island, Milaidhoo, Reethi Beach, finolhu, Amilla Fushi, Dusit Thani and Soneva Fushi, as well as Luxury travel agent Manta Reisin.

According to Flossy Barraud, from the Manta Trust they are very grateful to all the local tourist resorts that have sponsored the festival and generously donated cressi snorkeling equipment to every school in baa atoll, and this has not only enabled local students to attend the Baa Atoll Manta Festival, but also to have snorkeling lessons to teach them to use their new equipment for years to come.Despite being surrounded by water many Maldivians rarely snorkel to witness the true beauty under the waves.The manta trust is hoping the baa atoll festival is going to make a change and leave a long lasting legacy for the communities of baa atoll- Inspiring the next generation to become ocean Guardians in the Maldives