Maamigili, the largest island in South Ari Atoll, is gearing up to host the 3rd annual Maldives Whale Shark Festival (MWSF).
With less than 10 days for the festival, which will take place on the 29th of this month, local artists and some of the organizers are already in South Ari Atoll prepping for the event.
7 local islands will be participating in this year’s event which will see a special performance by famous singer Unoosha. She will be performing as part of the event’s finale to help raise awareness on the conservation of whale sharks in the area. This year, MWSF has been scheduled to coincide with International Whale Shark Day.
Unlike previous years, a science fest will be held prior to the event. ScienceFEST will take place on the afternoon and evening of Friday 28th August on the island of Dhigurah, which was the first island to host MWSF. So, in addition to celebrating what is unique about the Marine Protected Area of the South Ari Atoll we will be supporting the sharing of vital resources and knowledge between Conservationists, Marine Biologists and Educators in the Maldives.
“This is an opportunity to learn more about this incredible creature and by working together, to showcase the outstanding natural beauty and artistic culture of the Maldives to a global audience”. Chloe Osborne, Festival Co-Director 2015.
Maldives.com is proud to be the online partner of this very important event which has been playing a important role in bringing communities together to celebrate marine diversity and natural beauty of South Ari Atoll and the Maldives. Information on Maldives Whale Shark Festival Initiated in 2013 by Maldives Whale Shark Research Program (MWSRP), with the support of UK based artist Chloe Osborne and in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Festival is designed to provide the island communities of South Ari Atoll with the opportunity to celebrate the whale shark and the marine diversity of their atoll whilst fostering environmental sustainability and conservation at a grass roots level. Seeding the idea of an international collaboration between marine biologists and artists as well as by promoting the use of community art as a key tool for social and environmental education and engagement, the project seeks to boost local and national awareness and tourism to support future generations. The MWSF is a collaboration between marine biologists, conservationists, artists, schools and island communities and aims to: – Celebrate the marine diversity of South Ari Atoll and its marine protected area (SAMPA) – Promote environmental awareness and conservation – Bring communities together through creative workshops – Support and showcase Maldivian culture through storytelling and craftsmanship – Contribute to the national cultural calendar – Invest in eco-tourism and support civic participation – Catalyze knowledge transfer between scientific researchers, island councils, educators, artists, students and community members to safeguard the future of the whale shark and it’s natural habitat Previous and Future Festivals – The ﬁrst Festival was held in 2013 and was hosted by the island community of Dhigurah – The second Festival was held in 2014 and was hosted by the island community of Dhangethi. The Festival in 2015 will be the 3rd Annual Maldives Whale Shark Festival and will be hosted by the island community of Maamigili – Sponsor dependent, the 4th Annual Whale Shark Festival will be hosted in 2016 by the island community of Fenfushi