In 2021 in collaboration with local NGOs and the community we started various reef conservation projects in the Bali villages of Jemeluk, Bukti and Pemuteran. Meanwhile we are discussing plans with potential partners on setting up similar projects in Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is an isolated pearl in West Papua that got more attention in the dive community the last 20 years due to its extreme beauty and high marine biodiversity. First waves of tourism often have a positive impact on marine conservation. A good example is the ban of the shark finning business that was big in Raja Ampat until 10 years ago. Now the area is declared a sanctuary for sharks and rays and catching them is prohibited. Marine park entrance fees help protecting the marine park and home stays provide alternative income from fishing. But more tourism can have a turning point, it means more fishing and more destruction of the reef by divers, anchors and pollution. More development of the area also creates more sedimentation, erosion due to logging and again, more pollution.
By being present in Raja Ampat long term thru community-based coral restoration projects and awareness campaigns, we can keep a close eye on the developments and help out when necessary. We hope to start our first project here end 2021 or beginning 2022.