Raja Ampat Marine Park
In May 2007, the Raja Ampat government declared a network of seven MPAs (Marine Protected Areas). Today, there are 10 MPAs that altogether cover nearly 35,000 square kilometres, and approximately 45% of Raja Ampat’s coral reefs and mangroves. We hope that these MPAs will ensure the long-term health and sustainability of Raja Ampat’s marine ecosystems.
Marine Park Visitor Tag
Since 2007 all visitors traveling to Raja Ampat, to holiday in Indonesia, have to buy a Marine Park Visitor Tag which is similar to an entrance fee or permit fee for the Marine Park.
TOTAL entrance fee to Raja Ampat is Rp 1,000,000/person (approximately Euro 65). It is divided into two departments:
- The permit fee for international visitors is Rp 700,000 / person / calendar year (approximately Euro 45), for which they will receive a waterproof plastic entrance tag, featuring a photo of Raja Ampat.
- The annual tags and cards will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
- Children under 12 years are not required to have a permit.
- The entrance fee system will be enforced through spot checks conducted by official patrols, so visitors are required to carry their tags or cards when on a diving boat.
- By purchasing the tag you help support the conservation programs put in place to protect the environment as well as support the local communities.
Raja Ampat Marine Park entry permit fees are used for the operational costs of Raja Ampat’s Marine Protected Areas (patrols, administration etc) and to community conservation and development programs.
They split the fees because the organization previously responsible for collecting and distributing the money from the Marin Park fees (Dinas Pariwisata) provided no framework by which it could legally transfer finds collected to the intended recipients.
The Raja Ampat Marine Park Entry Permit tag has been renamed the Tariff to Support Environmental Services in Raja Ampat and must be paid by every visitor to Raja Ampat.
The information on the document (click here) – pdf document to be added explains, in depth how the Tariff to Support Environmental Services in Raja Ampat is charged and shows how the collected funds are used.
History of Raja Ampat
During the 15th Century, this archipelago was ruled by the Tidore Sultanate of the Maluku Islands. In order to rule effectively, this sultanate appointed four kings from the locale. They ruled the islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. These islands are the four largest in this area and the term used to refer to these 4 kings forms the root of the name given to the islands, Raja Ampat (raja=king, ampat=four). There are 610 islands that make up Raja Ampat and it has 743 kilometers of coast lines. The Capital is Waisai, a city located in Waigeo Island, However, after the Dutch invaded Maluku, it was claimed by the Netherlands.
The first recorded sighting and landing by Europeans of the Ampat Islands was by the Portuguese navigator Jorge de Menezes and his crew in 1526, en route from Biak, the Bird’s Head Peninsula, and Waigeo, to Halmahera (Ternate).
Raja Ampat society, as elsewhere in Indonesia, is a mix of indigenous cultures and the descendants of successive waves of migration from outside the area which began in ancient times and continues to this day. The culture is predominantly Papuan ethnic and Christian. The people are among the friendliest and most welcoming you’re likely to meet, usually having a carefree attitude and a ready smile
History as the people know it
The Origins of Raja Ampat from a cultural perspective “as the people know it”.
There was once a husband and wife who would go into the forest looking for food. They were forest encroachers and on one of their trips into the forest, they reached the bank of the River Waikeo and discovered 6 dragon eggs hidden in a bag. They took them and stored them in their home. During the night they heard whispers and when they went to investigate they found the eggs had hatched and brought 4 boys and a girl. One egg did not hatch. They were wearing clothes which indicated they had descended from royalty. They named the children as follows:
The King of Waigeo was War
- The King of Salawati was Betani
- The King of Lilinta (Misool) was Dohar
- The King of Waigama (Batanta) was Mohamad
The girl was named Pintolee and her brothers placed her in a shell and sent her to Numfor Island, as she was found to be pregnant. The egg that refused to hatch was named Kapatuai and turned into a stone. It was still treated as a King and was kept in a room that was special .Year after year, Kapatuai is washed and that water is flushed and used in the Baptism of Kawe. The stone is only seen when it is being washed.
The people of Raja Ampat are very respectful of the eggs and a house was put up by the Waikeo River as a home for them. It is now the object of worship for the people of that locality.
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What is the Geography of the Raja Ampat area?
Raja Ampat can be classified into three sectors, the North, Central and South.
- The North of Raja Ampat consists of the main Islands Wayag, Uranie & Kawe
- Central Raja Ampat consists of the main regions West Waigeo, Dampier Strait, Batanta Island & Fam Islands
- The South of Raja Ampat consists of the main Islands Kofiau & Misool
Raja Ampat, The Conservation Efforts
The Indonesian institute of Sciences (LIPI) and Conservational International, led by Dr. Gerald Allen, began in 2001 with rapid assessment surveys of Raja Ampats reefs. Since the first survey more than a decade ago, it has been confirmed that the Birds Head Seascape, with its exceptional biodiversity has to be conserved. The stress has been that the conservation needs to be balanced between the needs of the environment and the needs of the people who live in the BHS.