Hay Festival Maldives takes on climate change

Hay Festival Maldives takes on climate change

The Hay Festival – a Maldivian offshoot of the renowned Hay-on-Wye literary festival – will take place from the 14th to 17th October, with a host of talent celebrating 2,000 years of island culture.

Sponsored by Six Senses’ stunning resort Soneva Gili, which featured in the Gold List 2010, the festival brings together various talents from different fields – literature, art, science, music, poetry and comedy – to celebrate the history of the Maldives and to discuss its future. Several projects have been set up to raise awareness of the impact climate change is having on the Indian Ocean islands – rising sea levels is an enormous concern.

The workshop for Maldivian youth is an educational project, set up for a number of students from the North Male Atoll. Celebrity gardener Monty Don will teach the students how to create compost from waste and how to grow their own fruit and vegetables, with the aim of teaching islanders how to reduce dependency on the transportation of supplies.

“For a long time the Maldives have been largely perceived as a beautiful holiday location without any real cultural or even national identity,” says Don. “Yet the effects of climate change are making it one of the first countries forced to react and change dramatically and to inspect its own cultural identity and values. The Hay festival is the perfect forum for this and is in line with its tradition of stimulating, urgent debate in a blissful setting.”

Don believes that teaching islanders about growing supplies is not only fundamental to preserving the Maldives, but is also beneficial to the islanders themselves: “The key benefits are, firstly, that the fresher the fruit and vegetables are, the less time the vitamins and nutrients have chance to degrade so the more nutritious they are. Secondly, by growing fruit and vegetables close to where you use them, the food miles and the associated environmental impacts are dramatically reduced. By growing your own fruit and vegetables, you gain an appreciation for food while getting good physical exercise and a boost for the spirit.”

The Hay Festival Maldives will be staged on Aarah island near Male, 14-17 October. For more information, visit www.hayfestival.org/maldives

Where to go out of season: the Maldives are scarcely subject to seasonal changes in temperature…

From Cornwall to the Caribbean, we’ve found the best beach villas in the world

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply