By Jenny Willis, Reef Check Indonesia
Reef Check Indonesia has been busy the past month certifying new EcoDivers and Trainers!
Nusa Lembongan’s coral reefs will now be better monitored thanks to a new partnership on the island. Two local dive instructors, Andrew Taylor and Cody Macdonald, completed their Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer certification. Andrew and Cody co-founded the Blue Corner Dive Centre on Nusa Lembongan, a small island off the coast of south-east mainland Bali.
The training certifies them to deliver the accredited EcoDiver training to others, so that they can take part in Reef Check’s global coral surveys.
Jensi Sartin, chairman of Reef Check Foundation Indonesia, said that surveying the condition of reefs is a key way to monitor the effects of climate change and human-caused damage to reefs.
He says, “Becoming an EcoDiver is a great way to take an active part in preserving the world’s coral reefs. Anyone who can snorkel or dive can do the two day training course and join the community of hundreds of other EcoDivers around Indonesia.”
Having more EcoDiver trainers is one way in which dive centers can assist to protect Indonesia’s reefs.
“If we have more trainers then we can train more people. If we have more EcoDivers we’ll be able to do more surveys and collect more data about which areas and species are particularly vulnerable and need help, ” Mr. Sartin added.
“Reef Check is working with Indonesia communities on lots of projects, but working with dive centers is really important to us. Dive instructors spend a lot of time interacting with the reef, and they are in the privileged position of being able to teach new divers about how to look after coral and minimize their impact on it.”
“It’s really great to have Blue Corner Dive Centre become a local champion and motivate other businesses to also get involved in protecting the local reefs so we can enjoy them into the future.”
December saw a big step forward for coral reef conservation at Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali. Being one of the most popular places in Bali for watersports, Nusa Dua’s marine environment is very important for Bali’s tourism industry.
That’s why Jensi Sartin says it’s great news that five very experienced dive leaders and the head of the local branch of the marine tourism authority have become part of Reef Check Indonesia’s EcoDiver network.
“It’s really great to have such experienced dive guides from dive centres in Tanjung Benoa on board – each of these guys have done more than 500 dives,” said Mr. Sartin who taught the EcoDiver course. This initial monitoring team is an important step for the Tanjung Benoa area, “if these people didn’t come forward, no one will take care for the reef and it will be unmanaged and likely destroyed.”
Mr I. Made Tromat, Head of Gahawisri (Indonesian Marine Tourism Association) Badung Region said the newest EcoDivers will take part in coral reef monitoring project this January.
“We’re really happy to join this session especially because we’ve already done hundreds of dives. But by having this course it gives us more understanding about the coral, fish, invertebrates and humans and how they interact,” he said.
“It will change the way that we dive. In the past we just look, but now we understand more about what we are seeing and if coral looks sick. It’s good for tourism to look after our reefs and beaches.”
Many thanks to The Nusa Dua Reef Foundation and The Body Shop Foundation for their help in making these trainings possible.
If you are ready to do something good for Indonesia’s reefs, why don’t you become a EcoDiver too? Go to www.ReefCheck.or.id and click “Kontak” for our contact details.