Monday, 23 November 2015

Swedish School Groups and DHL cleaning up Mabul!

The month of November has been action packed. Between visits from Swedish schools, DHL and all the incredible diving we have had we've barely had a chance to catch our breath!

The month started with a visit from the Swedish school Falu Fri. Consisting of 8 students and 2 teachers, the aim of their visit is to gain an insight into environmental concerns for this area, as well as globally. They also learned about being part of the solution. Their visit was filled with a whole host of activities. They were all involved in a mixture of beach cleans, presentations and documentary viewing. They threw themselves into the activities with gusto and listened carefully to the presentations given in the evening. The presentations included: Marine Debris, Majestic Rays and they also watched 'Sharkwater', a documentary credited as inspiring a huge movement in shark conservation.

They also participated in Discover Scuba Diving experience - you can't come to this part of the world and not try to dive with a turtle! Everyone did great, got past their initial nerves and enjoyed the new experience. They were also lucky enough to go to Pulau Sipadan. To help protect the stunning beauty of Pulau Sipadan, only certified divers can dive there, however snorkelling is allowed if you are able to get a permit. Sipadan has to be the best snorkelling you can do, and the groups loved it! They saw schools of stunning reef fish, beautiful corals, white tip reef sharks and green turtles.

 We hope that the students (and teachers) enjoyed their stay here. Not only that, but they took something positive away from it. By involving students in this sort of conservation work we hope to inspire people to get out there and try to make a change. We were delighted to hear that after returning to Sweden three of the students gave a 'Marine Debris' presentation to over 1000 other students. This is exactly the kind of impact we hope to make! They have also - extremely generously - donated 2800RM to conversation in the area!  

Just a few days rest and then it was time for our second annual visit from DHL. Seven members of the DHL team came over here with the view to help clean up Pulau Mabul. They have done extensive beach and reef cleans and have been constantly coming up with ideas to aid the island. They too were given presentations on Marine Debris and had the full dedication of our two on-site Environmental Officers - Cat and Dave. 

They also took part in our Coral Transplant programme. This on going project hope to give coral a chance to flourish. Fragments of coral are taken from around the island and brought to the Coral Nursery. This is a protected area and somewhere were we hope the live coral can once again show its stunning beauty.

Having groups such as these visit our resort is inspiring. All ages groups can get involved in conservation and be part of making a difference. Furthermore, the experience they have here is taken back home, where they can educate others in the importance of protecting our beautiful ocean!