The Maldives are composed of beautiful islands set in pristine blue waters; many of those islands are undeveloped and uninhabited. However, a recent government initiative means a burst of development to support tourism, which is one of the nation's main sources of income. The Independent reports that this decision has been hotly contested, with Tourism Minister Mahmoud Shaugee resigning after it was announced that 31 more islands would soon have hotels built on their shores.
"There is only so much that an economy can absorb," he said. "I think it is important that we protect the future of the tourism industry for the people of the Maldives ... I have not specifically detailed the reasons for my resignation but I shared with journalists here that I have a difference of opinion with the government's policy. There are certain issues I have a difference of opinion over and I do not want to move forward with those policies."
This is a serious issue: What attracts tourists to the Maldives is its unspoiled beauty, and the preservation of its unique ecosystems should be paramount. But the archipelago also needs the business brought by visitors to sustain its economy. With that in mind, the builders of Soneva Fushi have created a luxury hotel designed to protect the island wonders around it, and are working towards making their establishment zero-waste through their innovative recycling program.