Eco-Resort in the Sinking Maldives Corrals the Last Few Tourism Dollars
Do we help the nations like the Maldives when we visit them with our tourist dollars, or do we hurt them by speeding their demise due to climate change? It’s complicated.
If we visit Alila Villas Hadahaa, a luxury resort in the Maldives, we would accelerate climate change by flying there.
The Maldives are part of the Sunderbans which have begun to disappear beneath the rising seas of the ever warmer Indian Ocean.
Before the international meeting at Copenhagen last year, president Mohammed Nasheed famously held a cabinet meeting underwater to raise awareness of rising sea levels that threaten the island’s existence.
The nation is one of the first to have to plan for climate change. To try and corral tourism dollars, even as seas rise in the region, SCDA Architects raised this luxury resort up high on stilts. Stretched out across the Indian ocean, the resort is beautiful and seemingly serene.
Income from tourism in the lovely islands brings in the tax dollars to mitigate climate change. But flying there accelerates its demise.
So let’s say flying to this lovely retreat is out. Let’s imagine that to enjoy this spot, you will have sailed here from India, using good old fashioned wind power. And here you are.
Once here, your luxury is guilt-free. The villas have been designed to naturally use the tropical climate conditions for ventilation, and incorporate rainwater harvesting and waste treatment plants.
Simple integrated eco-stone construction is used throughout. Both walls and floors are hygienic and durable. In the tropics, this kind of construction resists molds.
High roofed areas and open ceilings with cross ventilation in all the indoor spaces and deep roof overhangs create window shading that makes for natural, unforced green design.
So, once here, you can experience the natural charm, tranquility and unspoiled beauty of the Maldives, with a relatively light carbon footprint.