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Baa Atoll – the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Maldives

Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi, otherwise known as Baa Atoll – the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Maldives is the Southern Section of Maalhosmadulu Atoll. Along with Fasdūtherē Atoll, and Goifulhafehendhu Atoll (Horsburgh Atoll in Admiralty Charts), Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi serves as one of the Administrative Divisions in this Island Nation.

The UNESCO protected Baa Atoll comprises of 75 coral islands, out of which just 13 are inhabited by 12,000 local Maldivians, with Eydhafushi serving as the Capital Island, and Dharavandhoo being the location of the Domestic Dharavandhoo Airport. From the 57 islands that have been left uninhabited, 8 are currently operating as tourist resorts, offering a tropical holiday experience for travelers.

Baa Atoll – the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Maldives

On the month of June in 2011, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared Baa Atoll a Biosphere Reserve as the area is recognized with “great potential for demonstrating sustainable development throughout the Maldives and the region, while relying on a green economy.” The reserve is known for their phenomenal biodiversity and history of human interaction with the beautiful environment.

Possessing one of the largest coral gardens in the Indian Ocean, the underwater paradise of Baa Atoll comprises of coral islands, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. The channels are known to have a depth of 250-200m, while the lagoons are 30-80m deep and surrounded by a reef structure made up of patch reefs, knolls, micro atolls, and faros. Serving as a home to an abundance of marine life, over 250 Species of stony and soft corals, 1,200 fish species, manta rays, whale sharks, sea birds, variety of turtles, tawny nurse shark, napoleon wrasses, and more magnificent sea creatures can be found at the biosphere reserve! In addition to that, the area is a stepping stone for reef organisms to convey their planktonic larvae from the western and eastern Indian Ocean.

Baa Atoll – the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Maldives is a wonderful holiday spot for travelers who are eager to explore the aquatic beauty of this protected area. Do contact us at Travel Centre Maldives, and we will help you make a booking at one of the tourist resorts located in Baa Atoll, or any other area in this tropical paradise!


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