Raja Ampat diving project, Indonesia

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2018: 20 Jun, 18 Jul, 15 Aug, 12 Sep, 10 Oct, 7 Nov, 5 Dec
2019: 2 Jan
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Raja Ampat diving project, Indonesia

Environment

The Raja Ampat Diving Project strives to work in partnership with the local government and communities, in order to protect the area’s incredible coral-reefs and the local people that rely on them for their wellbeing. The reefs require protection and conservation due to threats such as over-fishing and coral destruction.

Community

The tireless work carried out by the project’s staff and volunteers is infinitely more effective when supported by the local people who call this environment home. In order to ensure this support, the project runs many community initiatives.

The community projects that volunteers will be involved with have been designed in conjunction with the needs of the local community and government. Through regular meetings between the project and local stakeholders (government members, school groups, fisherman, farmers, etc), community projects are designed to make a real difference in these specific ways:

• Undertaking educational programmes on environmental issues, sustainable fishing techniques and the economic benefits of protecting marine areas

• Increasing quality of life and alleviating poverty in local communities

• Encouraging entrepreneurial attitudes to deter from unsustainable and destructive activities like shark finning or fishing with dynamite.

• Researching the effects of climate change on coastal communities

2 Reviews of Raja Ampat diving project, Indonesia

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 May 2018 by

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


Watching sunsets with a cold beer and my new friends. The island life.

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


Bring your own diving equipment. The quality of rentals is really bad.

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


Yes. We did several beach cleanups with the local kids. Wwe bought some things (snacks, jewelry) from local shops. We supported conservation by adding data to the science projects.

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


I had an amazing time! The staff and all the volunteers are such nice people! I also really enjoyed the science part of it. We learned a lot and it made the diving experience so much more beautiful! BUT: (1) the food was very poor (even more so if you are a vegan). Everybody complained about it. (2) There were a lot of cockroaches and rats. (3) The diving equipment was of insufficient quality, which was actually quite dangerous: I had a runaway ascent because of a BCD deflator defect. Also my regulator filled up with water during the dive. I changed it for another regulator, but that one leaked too much air. The staff puts a lot of effort into fixing the equipment, but this just isn't enough. Investment in equipment is necessary. My third regulator set worked ok, but did not have a mouthpiece on the secondary air source. That was considered acceptable.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank your for your feedback. We are glad you had an amazing time overall but have taken on board the comments you have made and started to make changes. We are working with the kitchen staff to improve the standard of food and have just hired a new chef also, so this will improve with an almost immediate effect. Regarding cleanliness, we have told all staff and volunteers to keep all of their food in the fridges from now on which will be running 24
hours a day and to keep the living area much cleaner and tidier. We have also just finished a complete safety check on all dive equipment which is done regularly to ensure it is safe to use but have also repaired previously faulty equipment so it can now be used again. All dive equipment is safe and if not it is taken offline until it is repaired. This is our single highest priority. Thank you again for taking the time to give us your feedback.

Reviewed on 08 Aug 2016 by

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


I loved the balance of activities: snorkeling alongside whale sharks, whale watching, data logging, community projects, working alongside serious scientists
and having a proper holiday all at the same time

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


Do it. Get stuck in to all the different aspects of the holiday, and spend as long as you can!

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


Yes, definitely. The project managers take this really seriously and are really actively involved in various community projects, both instigated by them and in
conjunction with locals, and they are exploring more ideas all the time. The conservation/ scientific work is the core of it all; the relationships with local
fishermen/ elders/ community groups and individuals are impressive.

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


Tops; the holiday exceeded expectations all round. I've come home happy.

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