From day one, our Sulawesi diving resort lived the belief that protecting the reefs was going to be an integral part of running a sustainable dive operation. We felt so strongly about this, we started our Collaborative Reef Conservation Program, a privately-funded reef conservation, education, and community improvement program. This unique program is designed to align the interests of the locals and the diving community through a series of mutual agreements and investments. As part of the program, local fishing communities obtain a fair share of the income generated by dive tourism in exchange for adopting more sustainable practices - such as leaving large stretches of reef completely untouched.
The surrounding villages also receive financial incentives to improve their infrastructure. Other contributions go towards education and strengthening local support for the protecting the precious marine life in the region. Currently, the cooperative conservation program protects over 22 miles of coral reefs in the region. In addition, the community programs bring electricity to the 700–person village on the island, encourage environmentally-conscious waste management, and sponsor reef patrols, schools, sporting events, and public moorings to reduce anchor damage.
We have spent years developing, improving and refining these conservation agreements. Our efforts have been based on a commitment to understand the local needs and to treat the local communities as fully consenting peers, so there’s no need to preach or apply pressure. In turn, the local communities have become defenders of these precious underwater properties, a valued resource for them. You can join us with a good conscience, knowing that your visit is helping to preserve these incredible reefs not only for today, but for generations to come.
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