Marine Day Festival Motivates North Ari Residents to Conserve Marine Environment

Team Rasdhoo demonstrates their recycled invention
Team Rasdhoo demonstrates their recycled invention

For Immediate Release

Monday, August 10, 2015
Embassy of the United States of America Colombo, Public Affairs Section
Tel: +94 (1) 249-8100 ● Fax: +94 (1) 244-9070 Email:<> ●

On August 8, Hundreds of North Ari Atoll students, teachers, parents and local residents celebrated the Marine Festival “Moodhu Maa-Kan’du Fest 2015” on Ukulhas Island, North Ari Atoll.  They were joined by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and senior Maldivian officials.

“By protecting marine resources, we are promoting smart growth and development throughout this island nation,” said USAID’s Acting Mission Director Elizabeth Kvitashvili.  “The sooner we act, the more we can do to protect the welfare of the Maldivian people.”

Building on the success of the first festival held in Mathiveri in 2014, USAID sponsored this festival to raise awareness of marine environment challenges and train local communities on marine conservation, especially the coral reef life affected by climate change and human activities.

IUCN Project Leader Ameer Abdulla stated, "It is important to teach the youth to appreciate the marine ecosystem at an early age to attain sustainable development.” The day-long festival welcomed visitors through activities such as snorkelling and swimming lessons, beach clean-up games, an invention competition using recyclables, and family-friendly learning and discovery programs.

The festival was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with support from the Maldivian Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, the North Ari Atoll Council, the Ukulhas Island Council, the Maldivian National University and private entities such as Coca Cola, Dhiraagu, Bathala, and Lotus Group.