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Soneva enters formal Partnership with the United Nations Development Programme

Soneva resorts has entered an official partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Aiming to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, it marks the first of its kind in the Maldives.

The partnership was signed at Soneva Fushi, Soneva’s flagship resort in the Maldives, by Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva, and Shoko Noda, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. The two organisations have previously worked together, hosting a Social Innovation Camp where Maldivian entrepreneurs received coaching and advice on their socially positive initiatives before pitching them to a judging panel for three cash prizes of USD 3,000.  

Soneva has a history of committing to sustainability and has already established initiatives to alleviate the impact of climate change and support communities. For example, the Soneva Ocean Stewards (SOS) programme has taught hundreds of local children how to swim and encourages the local community to appreciate the precious marine ecosystem.  Likewise, the Soneva Foundation’s Myanmar Stoves Campaign has provided around 13,000 clean-burning cooking stoves to families in Myanmar, preventing over half a million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and providing 60,000 people with access to a safer cooking method.

Of the partnership, Founder & CEO of Soneva, Sonu Shivdasani, said: ‘I am thrilled to formalise our relationship with the UNDP. For many years, Soneva has strived to break down traditional barriers and encourage greater partnership and collaboration between the business sector with communities and environmental organisations. We’ve altered our business model to ensure that we consistently support our local communities and the environment, and we are very proud of our results. This partnership with the UNDP will allow us to work more effectively to improve environmental and social issues from waste management to female empowerment, access to clean water to the protection of our oceans, and much more. We are excited to work with and learn from the UNDP and to share our knowledge and experiences with our new partners. The world will only get better if individuals, businesses, and governments work together.’

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Maldives, Shoko Noda said: 'At UNDP, we believe that creating new partnerships between local communities and the private sector is the stepping stone for development. Through the Make My Island platform we hope to create stronger bonds with private sector companies who are committed towards sustainable development. I look forward to our partnership with Soneva Resorts in addressing local challenges with innovative solutions.' 

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