Where: Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia
Responsible diving factor: This small dive resort has worked in conjunction with the local community fishermen and leaders to create a 425 sq km No Take Zone protecting the rich biodiversity of the surrounding islands, reefs and water. They have trained and employed local people to patrol and protect the no take zone. The zone includes green turtle nesting sites, fish spawning sites as well as many other species such as sea eagles.
Here is their mission statement:
‘Misool Eco Resort is deeply committed to a policy of environmental and social responsibility. We seek to provide exceptional and enriching experiences in a sustainable environment. We aim to protect and revitalise both our natural surroundings and the community in which we operate. We are committed to demonstrating to our hosts, our guests, and the local government that tourism can support a local economy with much more favourable terms than mining, logging, overfishing, or shark finning.’ Click here to read more about how Misool are fulfilling this mission, from using local building materials and leasing the land from the community, to wind energy, grey water processing and the shark and fishing patrols.
Other projects include building a conservation centre which will allow scientists to access the area for conservation research and also be used for educating guests and the local community. Misool works very closely with the local community, offering jobs, job training and funding education projects for the school.
Check out their website for more information including latest news on shark petitions, increasing the size of the no take zone and info on recently spotted critters. They also have links to a brilliant slide show about the reefs of Raja Ampat created by National Geographic.
Misool Eco Resort was highly commended at the 2009 Responsible Tourism Awards for the Best in a Marine Environment Category.