Reef restoration: Divers take part in a Biorock workshop to restore the reefs of the Gili Islands in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Courtesy of Delphine Robbe
Jan. 12, p. 21
Imagine diving off one of the beautiful shores of the Gili islands in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and finding yourself facing fishermen equipped with dynamite and destroying coral reefs.
It would be far from picture perfect, but this was the reality before the Gili EcoTrust, a non-profit environmental organization, was set up in the area in 2002 and signed an agreement with fishermen a few years later in collaboration with the local Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA).
The fish bombing has now come to an end, thanks to the actions of the local protection and conservation officials. But there is a need to continue supporting the work to make sure fishermen do not go back to their old ways and begin damaging the reefs again.
Following joint efforts by officials, the Gili EcoTrust and local dive centers, fishermen from Muroamy on the Gili islands are only allowed to fish in two designated areas. (By Marcella Segre, Gili Trawangan, West Nusa Tenggara).
I’m building some villas and a small health resort in Selong Blanak, South Lombok. This is exactly the kind of association I want to create in our area — and try to get a bit of local government and student support behind it.
If anyone reading this is interested in helping the local community and environment please contact me. I love Lombok.
More of this, the island and its people will prosper.
Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara
As one of the most senior diving instructors in the country who has virtually seen it all and filmed it all, involving reef destruction in Indonesia over my past 25 years of living and diving here, I am enlightened by this effort to recover the reefs around the Gili Islands.
I dove there once 15 years ago and never returned because of the disgusting condition of the surrounding reefs with virtually no big fish ... Perhaps efforts like this will attract old pros like me as tourists one day. I’ve been scuba diving for 32 years and I am hard to impress. My challenge to you reef re-builders is a simple one.
For more information about the conservation work being carried out on the Gilis islands visit www.gili-paradise.com/dive-at-gilis.php