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ECOCARE Maldives condemns the Cabinets approval to lease lagoon for the development of a Dolphin Park in the Maldives. Dolphins in the Maldives is a Protect Marine species since 15 May 1993. Whether the dolphins in question are imported in to the country or whether it is captive born and trained, ECOCARE Maldives stand strongly opposed to the concept of captivity/cage (enclosed in lagoon) of these marine mammals. We should not encourage the development of such facilities and centers in the country.
After the successful “SAVE THE TURTLE” campaign ECOCARE Maldives continues to be committed to keep turtles in Maldives safe and protected. This campaign “Friend of Turtles” was launched to renew the commitment we made to protect and conserve the marine turtle in the Maldives. Under this campaign ECOCARE Maldives calls for all to pledge and commit to “Stop illegal killing of turtles”. The pledge reads that “I am a friend of the turtles. I would never catch, hurt or kill a turtle. I would work towards making the Maldives a safe and habitable place for turtles”. Many have already signed this pledge and are continuing to do so.
Save the Shark campaign by ECOCARE Maldives was launched in the year 2000. ECOCARE Maldives published an awareness booklet similar to that of the Save the Turtle campaign booklet. Special awareness sessions on Save the Shark was conducted during the Soneva – Ecocare Nature trips that the NGO conducted annually with participants from Primary Schools in Male’ and students of Baa Atoll Schools with the support of Sonevafushi Island resort and spa. Awareness booklets were freely distributed for students and local community. ECOCARE Maldives branded the ECOCARE Save the Shark campaign logo and different campaign slogans on staff T-shirts and event T-shirts that were prepared from 2000 onwards.
A strong campaign, in earnest, was launched in 1994 to protect the marine turtle. Under this campaign, an educational awareness kit including three post-cards, firsthand information card and an educational booklet was distributed in the tourism sector to stop the turtle trade in the Maldives. His Excellency The EX President of The Republic of Maldives Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom also helped this project financially. In addition, appeals were sent to members of parliament to ban turtle trade in the Maldives. Mass media was used to create awareness among the general public of the same. In 1995 the government declared a total ban on catching, killing and any form of turtle trade in the Maldives.
ECOCARE Maldives has been identifying aromatic flowering plants which were common in Male’ in the past that are no longer seen and has been re-introducing them with the help of committed parties and also in distributing them in Male’. ECOCARE started a program in 2000, titled, “Return of Flowers.” Under this campaign lecture sessions have been held. ECOCARE has worked closely with one of the best nurseries in Male and have distributed fragrant flower bearing plants on four occasions. Over 400 rooted cuttings of night jasmine and queen of the night have been distributed. Since queen of the night thrives very well, it is common to see them in household compounds now. However, there are about ten varieties of fragrant flowers that need to be reintroduced. Since these varieties are not available and because there are no mother plants available, the only alternative is to import them. However, since this project requires a lot of financial support ECOCARE Maldives proposed this idea to the Ministry of Environment which later successfully implemented this program in Male’ with the support of the Scout Association of Maldives of Maldives.
A series of lectures was given to primary schools in Malé from 1998 to 2000 under a programme called Awareness 2000. Resident and expatriate resource personnel gave these lectures. In addition, these lectures were facilitated by videos and slides. All these lectures and awareness sessions were coordinated and organized by founder and Chairman Mr. Mohamed Zahir (Meem Zaviyani). Areas covered in this awareness campaign included General environment, waste management, Biodiversity, Nature, protected species etc … ECOCARE Maldives continues to give awareness sessions and lectures even today though not under a campaign.