Gili Trawangan island in West Nusa Tenggara nowadays is like a beautiful work of art that has been damaged through neglect.
The island, which became famous among tourists for its natural beauty, has been buried deeper under piles of garbage in recent years.
The piles of garbage have become very damaging to the local environment and over time could negatively impact tourism on the island.
For years, hotels and restaurants have been very ignorant in their waste management practices, which include disposing their trash and liquid waste onto the white sandy beaches surrounding the island.
The large number of tourists coming to the island – up to 3,000 per day - also adds an environmental burden to Gili Trawangan, which is home to only 2,000 locals. The area is in dire need of proper
waste management, according to non-government environmentalist organization Blue Carbon Consortium activist Akbar A. Digdo.
“We do not want other islands in Lombok, which are still relatively free from tourism, to suffer the same fate in the future,” Akbar said.
The Blue Carbon Consortium, Akbar said, has collaborated with locals so they can develop proper waste management to save their living environment.
The consortium also educated tourists to become more responsible and aware of the importance of keeping Gili Trawangan clean.
“We initiated a movement called ‘one visitor, one bag’. Using this, we try to encourage tourists to bring their own garbage bags when they visit the island,” Akbar said.