Marine conservation diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Price:
From £1000 (14 days) excluding flights
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a 28 day trip is also available.. Prices are per person from Sorong, West Papua Province, Indonesia (the nearest airport to the conservation area) and include all transfers, all food and accommodation, conservation training, diving and island excursions. Scuba equipment is also available to hire if required.
Vouchers: not accepted
Dates:
This trip departs every Monday
Reviews:
1 review4 star rating
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Marine conservation diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Responsible travel: Marine conservation diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Environment

1. WILDLIFE
We are a conservation organisation primarily focused on protecting the vulnerable ecosystems in the heart of the Coral Triangle in Indonesia. We are a private charitable trust which works with local communities to develop a comprehensive strategy for conserving some of the most important coastal and marine habitats on Earth.

Our initial area of focus is Raja Ampat which is situated in the Bird’s Head area of West Papua, Indonesia which has the highest degree of marine biodiversity. This small area is home to more species of fish, corals and marine invertebrates than anywhere else, however, it is under threat from over exploitation by fishing, mining and logging.

We are committed to educating the nearby villagers so that overfishing becomes a problem of the past and so that they assist in helping to preserve their fragile environment, for example by becoming park rangers or through alternative sources of income.

We think that a conservation project can only succeed if it has the approval and support of the local stakeholders. We are working with village elders and local leaders to establish and enforce the conservation plan.

Our first project is based around the uninhabited island of Penemu in the Pam archipelago which is directly in the path of the strong nutrient rich currents of the Dampier Strait. Unfortunately, the rich populations of fish, invertebrates and corals are a haven for illegal fishermen.

Currently, the Pam archipelago lies outside the existing Gazetted marine protected areas in Raja Ampat. After nearly a year of socialisation and discussion we signed a Marine Conservation Agreement (known as a MCA) in November 2011 with the local stakeholders which has been endorsed by all levels of local government. The MCA runs for a period of 25 years and will enable us to work with the local population to protect these valuable habitats and also reduce the access of illegal fishermen this part of Raja Ampat.

The main objective of the MCA is to create substantial ‘no take zones’ (no fishing of any kind allowed) to protect the existing unique and highly biodiverse ecosystem.

We train and employ local villagers to act as rangers to patrol the No Take Zones to ensure compliance with the terms of the MCA.
Our second project, which started in 2012, is to create and enforce a large second No Take Zone around the remote archipelgo known as Bambu island (or Mios) which is south west of Penemu.

Community

Our first initiative was to donate 2,000 books to the 4 village schools in the Marine Conservation Area - which are being used for English language education to both children and adults. We will also encourage volunteers to assist in English language education as part of our land based community projects.
We also assist local village groups to establish sustainable businesses which are compatible with the conservation targets of the MCA (Marine Conservation Agreement we have put in place) to improve their lives and offer alternative income sources & our initial focus is on tourism related projects such as making Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and soap as well as curios for sale to visiting tourists and local resorts. VCO is cold pressed from the meat of locally grown coconuts so the oil retains its natural vitamins and minerals.
We also employ local Papuans in our conservation project in important areas such as rangers to patrol the conservation zone, commuity liason, crew, construction and many other jobs.

The story of the provider of Marine conservation diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Helen Newman, a founder of this company and a marine biologist by profession, has been working in Raja Ampat as a consultant to Conservation International for the last 3 years. Prior to that, she set up the marine program of Operation Wallacea in Wakatobi, South-East Sulawesi which resulted in the formation of a 1.3 million hectare National Park. Simon Day, also a founder of this company and a UK qualified lawyer has lived and worked in Asia for 10 years. Simon, whose first degree was in Biological Science, has experience in the establishment and operation of large conservation prgrammes including Operation Wallacea in Indonesia. He is a partner of a liveaboard dive boat which is based in Raja Ampat. Simon and Helen are passionate about marine conservation, fuelled by their passion for diving and creating their company was a natural consequence of this passion and determination to give back to the environment.

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Marine conservation diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.


5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed 05 Dec 2013 by Jonathan Osgood4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The diving, all of it.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you are looking to help a worthwhile charity and do some diving then book this holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes the holiday was volunteering for a conservation charity which recognised the need for thier works to benefit the local people for the charity to be a success.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great. I did not want to leave at the end.
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