Sustainability and Tourism in Raja Ampat
At Biodiversity, we share a strong commitment towards sustainability. Our planet is suffering huge changes due to the impacts of human advancement and if we do not act now, to build up a sustainable future, for us and for future generations, who knows what world our children’s children will be living in.
With this in mind we need to start with addressing how we do business, and how we visit other places. We all need to move from how it has traditionally been addressed and develop a more sustainable and fair approach, that does everything possible to take responsibility and make a change in a positive way.
Being and living sustainable needs a new approach and should focus on developing new solutions to build up the communities that we want, based on solidarity and shared compromises. Putting emphasis on those that have less tools and resources to defend themselves from the threats of climate change, over-consumption and over-population .
Since the beginning, Biodiversity has been built around the concept of being a place to connect with Nature, which means putting in procedures and following a sustainable program whereby we have as little impact on the environment and the surrounding communities. Going one step further, it means getting as involved as possible in the social, economic and environmental scopes of the local place in which we are working. You cannot take meaningful action by working alone, so we always try to support and launch different projects aiming towards the triple bottom line:
- Protecting and enhancing natural ecosystems, so that we all can enjoy them for many more years.
- Supporting and caring for local communities and the well-being of its inhabitants. The resort is part of the community and as such, it needs to act like a supporting actor for resident’s health, education, culture and overall well-being.
- Finally, stimulating local economy and offering new and better job opportunities for local residents. As a business benefiting from the local area and natural capital, we want to give back part of all those benefits, by providing economic support to local populations. Also offering training and investing in village development, so that their future grows with an evolving world, but does not compromise their traditions and culture.
Raja Ampat Biodiversity Mission
As divers and nature lovers, we wish to create a resort which provides environmentally sustainable accommodation and activities for travellers and tourists, and manages natural resources in the best possible way to enhance the lives of the surrounding community, while maintaining the quality of the natural environment around the island of Gam.
Living in peace and harmony with the environment and the local community has been our objectives. We’ve implemented a range of initiatives, working together with village officials, with special emphasis placed on the local community, where our hosts are involved in programs to improve living standards and opportunities for local residents.
Raja Ampat Biodiversity Vision
Our priority is to minimise the impact of our presence, thus conserving the surrounding environment of Biodiversity, as well as the areas we visit. Our vision is to raise help raise awareness on the impact of human activities on the planet, and how tourism can benefit the areas we visit. We hope to provide you with a complete and memorable travel experience, and that you think to yourself what can you do for our planet. Your visit allows us to contribute to the local economy in many different ways and support the responsible tourism.
Local residents are given equal opportunities for employment and advancement, including in management positions.
PROMOTING LOCAL PURCHASING
When purchasing and offering goods and services, we give priority to local suppliers whenever these are available and of sufficient quality
Energy consumption is measured by type and steps are taken to minimize overall consumption. We makes efforts to increase use of renewable energy.
Our Sustainable Tourism Path: Follow GSCT Industry Criteria
Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is the Leading global authority in setting and managing standards for sustainable travel & tourism (GSTC Criteria). They are an Independent and neutral organisation acting as the international accreditation body for sustainable tourism certification.
In early 2020, our management earned the Certificate in Sustainable Tourism, after completing the training requirements (and successfully passing the exam) in “Sustainable Tourism Training Program 2020”.
We are using GSTC Industry Criteria as a guideline to measure ourselves in our path to a more sustainable direction. The main criteria we apply I our actions can be classified into four main goals:
- Demonstrating Effective Sustainable Management.
- Social and Economic Benefits to the Local Community and Minimize Negative Impacts.
- Maximize Benefits to Cultural Heritage and Minimize Negative Impacts.
- Maximize Benefits to the Environment and Minimize Negative Impacts.
In that scope, we have designed long-term sustainability management system that targets important areas that are suitable to our size and scope (i.e.: diving and accommodation), and we have made strides to address environmental, social, cultural, economic, quality, human rights, health and safety issues. In this way we hope to continue driving continuous improvement on new projects and by performing a strict follow-up on the ones already in place.
What is the meaning of Sustainable Tourism?
According to the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), Sustainable Tourism is “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impact, addressing the need of the visitor, the industry, the environment and the host community”. Sustainable tourism action is composed of three pillars: social justice, economic development, and environmental integrity.
Why is Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort Sustainable?
We have frequently been asked, “Why do you have an Sustainable operation, how does Biodiversity contribute to Sustainable tourism?” Some guests are not familiar with the environmental protocols we have in place, and therefore we want to take a moment to describe how we are aligning with GSCT Criteria with our activities in-line with Sustainable Practices, which we are very proud of! You will have the occasion of seeing some of them for yourself when you come to the resort, but some others you won’t be able to see since they are not as evident or are even happening in other areas.
Being a Nature resort in Raja Ampat and walking the sustainable path is not an accident, it is our choice, and we are happy to be involved in various activities to preserve Raja Ampat’s environment and community. Sustainable Tourism is not a trend, it is a necessity, and at Biodiversity we are really conscious about it. We all must minimize any actions jeopardizing our planet.
Global Awareness is rising, and people are becoming more and more responsible users. However, tags like eco, sustainable, organic and others are proliferating and being used in confusing ways just for the sake of getting new customers.
That is the reason why we decided to be as transparent as possible, letting our clients know in detail what the concept of Sustainable Tourism represents, as this is our goal at Biodiversity Nature Resort and it is the theory we apply to all of our cultural, environmental and economic activities.
Company Social Responsibility
Since our beginning in 2013, Raja Biodiversity Nature Resort we have implemented a long-term sustainability policy that comprehends environmental, social, cultural, economic, quality aspects as well as promoting human rights, health, safety.
Our policy is called: CSR or Company Social Responsibility activity programs. The idea is to involve and provide added value for tourists, employees, local government, the surrounding communities and the environment, in a balanced manner.
The resort then sets the effective parameters for the implementation of this policy by the successful implementation of a double-axe sustainable tourism policy, consisting in:
Harmonious relationship with the community and nature
Creating a harmonious relationship between the resort, the community and Nature. Maintaining environmental sustainability, and helping to improve/promote welfare, quality of life for the community, which includes education and health. And, every possible single aspect that minimises our impact on the environment
Support local business
Helping to grow and improve small businesses, entrepreneurs and other local economies, channelling funds and ongoing coaching. Promoting aspects of equity, independence, professionalism and ethics, and therefore helping to increase employment through professional management.
As a consequence of the current complex world situation, we decided to shift from the traditional tourism approaches and implement a more meaningful change, showing others how sustainable tourism can benefit the future. Our actions might not change the world, but they are definitely contributing to a much-needed change of paradigm. This perspective sometimes means small sacrifices and commodities, but the final outcome is always worth it, not only for us, but also for the guests that come, knowing that they are being part this change and to a new way of doing things, respecting local ecosystems and communities.
To show that all of this is not only words, in this website you can find some of the projects that we have been developing over the years and some of the efforts that are being taken in the present towards sustainability goals.
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Please see the different projects that we are carrying out which benefit visitors and community.
Sustainable Tourism is a necessity, and at Biodiversity we are conscious about it and are taking measures in that direction.
BECOME AN ECOTOURIST
We all must make efforts to minimize the impact our activities have on our planet. We have a long way to go! Important to talk the Talk AND start the Walk!
BIODIVERSITY KEY PROJECTS
Supporting the development of biodiversity-related sustainable tourism, to develop internal management, and capacity building for enabling local people to participate in and benefit from tourism projects