8 May 2024

JOALI BEING, the first wellbeing island of its kind in the Maldives, stands out from the crowd of luxury properties in the region with its focus on wellbeing and nature, preserving and protecting a place that the team loves the most by shining the spotlight on sustainability. In partnership with the Olive Ridley Project (CORP), JOALI BEING welcomes the new Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in Raa atoll, based on the island.

With sustainability and conservation at its core, JOALI BEING has created several initiatives and partnerships to maintain the preservation of nature and the surrounding landscape. In November 2021, JOALI BEING and the Olive Ridley Project officially joined forces in a partnership aimed at safeguarding vulnerable sea turtle populations in Raa Atoll. This collaboration involves advancing sea turtle research within the atoll, conducting educational outreach tailored for both international tourists and local communities, and the establishment of a dedicated rehabilitation facility at the island to care for sick and injured sea turtles.


In partnership with the Olive Ridley Project, JOALI BEING is proud to welcome the first turtle patient at the new rehabilitation centre, named Kurangi. Kurangi is a juvenile Olive Ridley turtle that was found entangled in a ghost net in Shaviyani atoll in August 2023. She was admitted to the Olive Ridley Turtle’s Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, due to injuries to both of her font flippers, with severe damages to the left flipper that required amputation. Following eight months of specialised care from the Olive Ridley Project’s veterinary team, Kurangi made a remarkable recovery from her injuries. Despite her progress, she continues to struggle with buoyancy disorder and is currently undergoing rehabilitation to address this ongoing challenge.



About Raa Atoll Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre


Serving as a step-down facility of the Olive Ridley Project's Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa atoll, the new Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in Raa atoll at JOALI BEING is used for the rehabilitation of long-term sea turtle patients who are not in need of the intensive veterinary care received at the rescue centre. Sea turtle patients will be transferred here from the Olive Ridley Project’s Marine Turtle Rescue Centre when they are nearing their release back to the ocean after treatment by the veterinary team. During their time at the Raa Atoll Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, patients will continue to receive care from the resident Sea Turtle Biologist, Mohamed Shah, under the direct supervision of the Olive Ridley Project's veterinary team. Shah previously worked as a marine biologist and did his internship at the Olive Ridley Project’s Rescue Centre where he cared for sick and injured turtles. Currently, Shah is expanding the Olive Ridley Project’s research efforts in Raa atoll as well as conducting educational activities for both guests and the local community.


Sea turtle patients are mostly treated for complications related to entanglements in marine debris, often called ‘ghost nets’, which can cause devastating injuries to their limbs leaving them in a chronically debilitated condition. The rehabilitation centre is designed to house two patients at a time: a large tank for a long-term patient, and a smaller holding tank to house a patient overnight that is awaiting transport to the rescue centre for advanced care. A continuous pump system circulates fresh seawater, maintaining optimal conditions where the water quality is monitored daily to maintain the highest standards of care for sea turtle patients.


Patients admitted to the Raa Atoll Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre will undergo different types of customised rehabilitation such as Targeted External Weight Therapy (TEWT), dive conditioning and supervised exposure to enrichment devices. Guests at JOALI BEING will have the opportunity to visit the rehabilitation centre, learn about in-house patients and contribute to sea turtle conservation by symbolically adopting turtles, whereby they will an adoption certificate and monthly updates on the progress of the adopted turtle. The rehabilitation centre will further welcome Raa atoll residents, including local government members, students, and the community, for educational visits as per the Olive Ridley Project and JOALI BEING’s outreach efforts.


About The Olive Ridley Project (CORP)


The Olive Ridley Project (ORP), founded in 2013, isa charity registered in England and in the Maldives, whose mission is to protect sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education and outreach. The name ‘Olive Ridley Project’ is testament to the charity’s humble beginnings of documenting Olive Ridley turtle entanglements in ghost gear in the Maldives.


Sustainability & Conservation at JOALI BEING


JOALI BEING is the epitome of sustainable glamour. Even before the guests have arrived, the luxury retreat offsets all carbon emissions from their stay by working with local communities to re-plant trees. In an effort to align with JOALI BEING’s commitment to preserving, respecting and connecting with the local landscape, the retreat was built using Biophilic design principles, which is a scientific system of integrating architecture and design with nature, with the goal to achieve harmony by eliminating negative vibrations and enhancing the energy flow of the island. In doing so, the island’s wild forest remains untouched.


The JOALI brand is also collaborating with EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, on impactful long-term sustainability initiatives. The sustainability infrastructures of the JOALI BEING island includes a desalinating water bottling plant, a rainwater harvesting, and greywater recycling system, a glass crushes and recycler, a 1750 food waste composter, and plant waste shredder for fertilising, and a biological wastewater treatment plant for safe discharge.


JOALI will be further enhancing its Reef Restoration Project this year too, whereby the resident Marine Biologists are leading the on-site coral nurseries. At JOALI BEING, their primary responsibility is to support the ongoing initiatives of the Coral Nursery — growing sustainable reef colonies, improving their resistance to temperature change and disease, and increasing the diversity of their coral species.