[T]he Four Seasons Resorts Maldives team is delighted with the news that Marie Saleem – fellow Maldivian and co-founder of Seamarc, the Resorts’ environmental consultancy partner – has been recognised for her outstanding environmental efforts in the Maldives. On 4 October, Marie was presented with the annual Seacology award at a ceremony held in Berkeley, California. The Seacology prize is awarded to an indigenous islander for extraordinary work and success in preserving their local environment and culture.
As a leading environmental conservation advocate, researcher and activist, Marie has worked tirelessly to protect marine species in the Maldives for over a decade, most notably playing a leading role in achieving a nationwide ban on shark fishing and trading and – under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) – helping secure specific protection measures for several shark and manta species. In addition, her untiring community work extends to conducting environmental awareness classes for local school children, and working on waste management projects and coral mitigation programmes.
[C]ommenting on her award, Marie said: “I am honoured and overwhelmed to be recognised for the humbling work I have done with the communities and the environment. The Maldives, being a small island state, is dependent on the pristine nature of its natural environment and I believe that it is only with the holistic intertwining of the peoples’ lives with nature that we can help the environment.”
Maldivian-born Marie has worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Marine Research Centre (Ministry of Fisheries, Government of Maldives) and is co-founder of Seamarc, the Maldives leading environmental consultancy. Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Regional Vice President, Armando Kraenzlin, summed up Marie’s achievements: “It’s impossible to put into words how dedicated Marie is to preserving the Maldives marine environment. We’re honoured to work with her and extend our heartfelt congratulations on this fantastic recognition of her efforts and expertise.”