Human Activities Impact on the Planet

Raja Ampat is home to several different and essential ecosystems that are part of a huge interconnected network of natural systems. These ecosystems provide hundreds of ecosystem services, that make human existence possible and our lives much more pleasant by providing clean air, regulate rainfall, protect us from natural events, etc. Some of these crucial ecosystems are mangroves, rainforests or the well-known coral reefs.

The scientific community agrees that coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine eco systems. The famed Coral Triangle represents the most bio diverse coral reef system on the planet, the epicentre being in Raja Ampat. Corals that produce reef structures are home to thousands of species; many are yet to be discovered. This underwater network of history and life is at risk, not only from immediate threats, but also from hazards from all parts of the world. Species across the globe, and in fact the entire planet, are at risk these days, due to a variety of consecutive pollutants and human activities.

It is difficult and painful to imagine these marine ecosystems completely eradicated during our lifetime. It is unfortunately all too easy for us to put the idea on the back burner, after diving in such healthy and vibrant dive sites. It is much too easy for us to turn our backs on something we don’t actually see falling apart with our own eyes. But it is this lack proactiveness in the present that will make us just complicit in the decline of such ecosystems in the future. By 2050 100% of the world coral reefs ecosystems are predicted to be threatened.

Guests are shocked when they come to Raja Ampat and find plastic bottles on nearby beaches, or when they see Indonesian people throwing rubbish out to the ocean. It is a somewhat surprising to see such careless and ignorant behaviour, but it is not just these actions that we need to worry about. Maybe we need to develop a small and constructive exercise of self-criticism.

Just because we don’t see polluting actions at home, doesn’t mean that even the most developed nations aren’t responsible (and in fact are responsible for most of the pollution, being it directly or indirectly). What about nuclear waste disposals, internet home delivery orders, houses that are air conditioned 24 hours a day, outsized automobiles, driving instead of walking, drying laundry with machines instead of the sun… etc etc…? So now, facing this global crisis the question is: what are we really doing to help the environment, and which of these comforts and privileges are we willing to sacrifice before it’s too late?

At Biodiversity we do not see it another way. We are constantly taking self-critics, in order to see what are our comforts and how to improve as another socioeconomic actor that contributes to the current situation, for good and for bad. With this in mind, we have taken a few measures to limit the impact of our activities in Gam Island; through this website and during your visit, we would like to share these with you so you know why we are a proud Eco Resort in Raja Ampat. Hopefully you can also embrace some of these measures to limit the impact of your everyday activities on the island.

 

Now is your turn to become an Ecotourist

Global tourism is booming. In 2019, according to the UNWTO, 1.5 billion people travelled abroad, and this is set to grow to 1.8 billion by 2030. The positive impacts are clear — travel and tourism can drive economies, create jobs and provide enriching experiences and cultural exchange. Tourism is one of the world’s biggest industry, estimated to be worth around US$4 trillion. Many countries are reliant on tourism, 1 out of every 5 jobs created was in the travel and tourism sector.

If you feel that is time for you to help the planet and all the beings living on it (including ourselves) as we do, it is time to make a commitment so that we all are more conscious of our impact as travellers. Contributing to a new sustainable tourism is not only the responsibility of companies and resorts, but also from the main tourists! 

What can I do to Become an eco tourist

Managing tourism in a sustainable manner, and for the benefit of all, is more critical than ever. What can you do? Here are a few examples on how you can become a conscious traveller and help us!

– Don’t drink bottled water and do not buy one-use plastics in general, try to re-fill your bottle when possible. Look for non-plasticized alternatives if available.

– Be careful with the sunscreen products you buy, many have chemicals that harm the marine environment and are clearly not eco-friendly. Look for the coral friendly tag on them!

– Avoid mass-tourism destinations, and choose smaller scale tourism. This way, you are helping to distribute wealth at the same time that you do not participate in the gentrification of other areas. Visiting super gentrified places means in many occasions give up true and authentic experiences, just getting the fast-tourism ones.

– Visit operators which help support both economic and social growth within the community and help empower women (or other oppressed groups, such as indigenous communities). This way you can participate in an authentic cultural experience knowing that your money is helping those who need it the most.

– Look for initiatives relating to energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, bathroom amenities, cleaning products and more. You can make sure that the destinies you are visiting care for these things and you can also implement them at your own home!

– Buying artisan products from local sellers especially home-made instead of from shopping malls. This also helps preserve their cultural heritage. This includes souvenirs. Please, avoid buying anything made from endangered species or hard woods.

– Eat in local restaurants and buy food from street vendors instead of international chain restaurants. This way you make sure you are supporting the local businesses, you get the authentic flavour and you probably will get really cheap and quality dishes.

– Minimise your footprint by being mindful of the local environment. Use public transport such as buses, walk or cycle. Reduce the amount of flights that you take for very minimal stays (like week-end trips). Be aware of the items that you are consuming. Maybe question yourself if you really need it or want it. Buying more most of the times will not get you closer to a happier and more meaningful experience.

– Be careful what you bring to remote locations, and most important: what you leave. Batteries are left in the room, but what do we do with them?? An empty bottle of wine? Also, make a note where you put your litter and the packaging which you buy. Recycle when you can.

– Cruise ships, liveaboard diving boats can be damaging for the economy and the environment. Some of them use their own tours and everything from remote places, so they benefit from the visited place, but they do not invest on it or provide any benefits to local communities and environment.

– Make your travels wisely: Travelling in off-season also supports the local community in the normally quieter months, and eases the strain on local infrastructure during high season.

-Raise awareness on how to become more sustainable, what is the importance of healthy ecosystems. If you did not know about it, maybe someone is willing to hear you and change their habits to start helping the planet.

-Keep growing your information on sustainability topics. A well-informed person is someone that gill take measures to have a more positive impact on the world. Generally, bad habits and wrong decisions come from ignorance and misinformation. Whenever you visit a place, get soaked with its traditional and local knowledge. Also, listen to what scientifics and experts are trying to warn us from and follow their advices.

Even when the global and climate crisis are extremely complex problems that are mainly caused by huge enterprises, very powerful actors and multinationals, it does not mean that we do not have some responsibility over it, especially those of us born and raised in the Global North countries. We always have something positive to achieve, so why not to point out those vile actors and their actions, at the same time that we ourselves try to make a constructive change for us and the future generations? All that can be done goes through the necessity to build a new sustainable society based on a whole global community and its solidarity. Start now to participate and build up that change!

Do not forget that staying at Biodiversity you contribute with all our community and environmental programs. We really thank you so much!

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COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY

Please see how your visit is helping our efforts of spreading the benefits of tourism to the local area.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Responsibly addressing the physical pressures from tourism in rich biodiversity but fragile environments.

BIODIVERSITY KEY PROJECTS

 University scholarships for Yenbeser Village youths, library and health programs are among our most proud efforts so far.

RAJA JUNE SEPTEMBER