Having a long-term strategy is very important for marine conservation projects because the ocean environment is complicated and always changing. Saving marine life takes time and patience to see real and lasting effects. A long-term plan helps us to carefully plan, put actions into practice, and keep track of our progress.
This way, scientists and shark warriors involved can learn and adjust to the problems that come up. Marine ecosystems work on big time scales, and it can take many years or even decades for some species to recover from harm caused by the environment. So, our long-term strategy is like a roadmap that helps us stay focused and committed to protecting marine life and making sure it stays healthy for a long time.
It’s not all about sharks
We love sharks and to understand them fully we need to understand their environment and who they share it with. We understand that for sharks to survive they need a healthy environment where pray animals are in abundance and threats are minimal.
We know that in most cases sharks are the apex predator and maintain the health of the marine eco system, keeping the balance among pray species, this is why our research is not just based on sharks and shark behavior. We spent our time assessing the coral reefs around the Gili Matra Marine Park and studying the marine life found in each zone. Damaged reefs are getting restored by our coral restoration efforts and we educate people about the importance of coral conservation in our underwater science lab.
Furthermore, we educate, train, and empower local talent to become leaders of the Gili Island’s growing tourism industry and guardians of its natural environment. Last but not least, together with NGO Gili Matra Bersama, we provide scholarships to Indonesian women who want to pursue a career in marine conservation but don’t have the financial or emotional support to make it happen. And there is more!
We’ve set up a #PlasticFreeParadise campaign in which we educate locals, expats and tourists on the impact that single use plastic has on our ocean and our island and try to create a plastic free paradise for the generations to come.
We are supporting the long-term strategy objectives of the NGO Gili Matra Bersama, and here is a comprehensive overview of their goals for the period 2023 – 2028.
our ocean commitment
for the next five years
3 dives sites protected and restored in the Gili Matra Marine Park
Protect and restore three reefs in the Gili Matra Marine Park using hex domes, coral clips, and reef stabilising mesh. We will actively engage local collaborators to maintain and monitor these locations, fostering community involvement in coral restoration efforts around the Gili Islands.
1 Shark Nursery created
Create the first recognised shark nursery ground in Indonesia in the Gili Matra Marine Reserve by 2025. This will create a safe and protected environment for white tip and black tip reef sharks to reproduce, contributing to the preservation of a healthy shark population around the Gili Islands.
100 Scholarships for Indonesian Women
Over the next five years, empower and enable 100 Indonesian women to pursue careers in marine conservation through our coral restoration scholarship programme. During their nine-week training, candidates will receive scientific dive training and learn how to set up and manage a coral restoration project, developing essential skills in coral reef restoration and monitoring. Upon programme completion, participants will join an alumni network and receive ongoing support in their future careers.
100 Local Women Taught to Swim
Empower 100 local women by providing comprehensive swimming lessons that enable their safety and confidence in the water. This initiative will enhance female empowerment and promote a sustainable positive connection between women and the ocean.
Record, monitor and identify all foraging turtles around the Gili Islands
In collaboration with local conservation organisations, develop a comprehensive turtle photo ID database for the Gili Matra Marine Park. This database will enable an accurate assessment of the local turtle population. Through public participation, individuals can submit photographs, increasing data collection and raising awareness for turtle conservation in the region.
18 dive sites part of Project Aware's Adopt The Blue Program
Through PADI’s Adopt The Blue program, we will facilitate the adoption of 18 dive sites in the Gili Matra Marine Park by either a dive centre or Yayasan. Each adopting organisation will commit to conducting a minimum of one underwater clean-up per month at their adopted dive site. PADI’s Adopt The Blue programme aims to accelerate the pathway to MPA status, ensuring long-term protection and conservation.
85% of all Gili dive guides include conservation in their briefing
85% of the local dive guides working in the Gili Islands’ dive centres will incorporate information on coral reef conservation and threats in their dive briefings. This will promote ocean literacy among the local community and tourists, reducing the likelihood of engaging in behaviours that could damage the marine environment.
60% of all Gili dive guides certified as a scientific diver
65% of all the local dive guides working in the dive centres on the Gili Islands will be certified as PADI Scientific Divers. With their increased scientific knowledge and research diving skills, the capacity of guides to undertake research dives will be increased, contributing to a greater understanding and conservation of the marine environment.
200 conservation classes for the next generation
Deliver conservation classes at local schools on Gili Air. Aligned with the local science curriculum, these classes will give students a comprehensive understanding of the ocean environment, including its threats and practical ways to mitigate them. By fostering environmental awareness and education, we will empower the next generation to become active ocean stewards and drive positive change in their communities.
120 workshops with the local community about conservation
Conduct 120 workshops for the local community on a wide range of topics such as biodiversity, sustainable practices, and ecosystem preservation. This will raise awareness, educate, and actively engage the local community in conservation efforts, cultivating a sense of environmental stewardship and promoting sustainable actions within the community.
30 snorkelling companies on the Gili islands are Green Fin certified
Collaborate with snorkelling companies on the Gili Islands to ensure that ten companies become Green Fin certified. This certification will verify their commitment to environmentally responsible practices, including waste reduction, responsible snorkelling guidelines, and sustainable tourism initiatives.
200 beach clean-ups
Organise and undertake 200 beach clean-ups on Gili Air before 2028. These clean-ups will raise awareness about the detrimental effects of marine pollution, specifically plastic waste, and actively contribute to reducing plastic in the ocean and on the island. This will create a cleaner and more sustainable environment, ensuring the long-term well-being of marine ecosystems and the local community.
100 underwater clean-ups
Organise and undertake 100 underwater clean-ups at our adopted dive site and in the harbour of Gili Air. These clean-ups will focus on removing pollutants and collecting data on prominent local pollutants. The data collected will be shared with PADI Aware, contributing to a broader understanding of marine pollution in the area.
120 refill stations across the three Gili Islands
In collaboration with local businesses, establish and maintain 120 refill stations across the three Gili Islands. These refill stations will provide accessible and convenient options for locals and tourists to refill their reusable water bottles, reducing single-use plastic consumption. This will promote sustainable practices, raise awareness about the importance of plastic waste reduction, and contribute to creating a plastic-free environment in the Gili Islands.
1 Underwater Science Lab
Create an Underwater Science Lab at Han’s Reef, which can be used to educate and train people in coral restoration. The Underwater Science Lab will showcase various coral nursery and restoration techniques and will be used to determine the most effective methods and species for the Gili Islands. This lab will contribute to advancing coral restoration efforts, promoting knowledge sharing, and fostering sustainable practices for the long-term health of the marine ecosystem in the Gili Islands.
1 Coral Art Project
Install a rebar artwork covering 80m2 of reef that contains more than 400 coral fragments in the north of Gili Air. This installation will create a new artificial reef that will move tourists away from more popular, damaged locations around the Gili Islands, spreading environmental impact more evenly. Furthermore, the artwork, designed by UK-based artist Will Solomon, will raise awareness about the threats facing coral reefs due to climate change and rising sea temperatures. The goal is to use art as a medium for education and inspire action to conserve coral reefs.
100 Square Meters of Seagrass Restored
In partnership with TU Delft and , undertake an innovative small-scale seagrass restoration project in Gili Air. If this pilot succeeds, the project will be expanded to restore all seagrass beds surrounding Gili Air. The pilot project will be designed and implemented, and its success will be evaluated. If successful, the project will be expanded to restore all seagrass beds surrounding Gili Air. During the pilot, regular monitoring will be conducted to assess the ecological impact on fish and invertebrate populations. The results and findings of this project will be shared with relevant stakeholders in the Gili Matra area to promote the adoption and expansion of this restoration technique for seagrass conservation.
5 Scientific Advisors Involved
Involve five scientific advisers in the long-term strategic planning for the Gili Matra Marine Park. These advisers, specialising in coral and seagrass restoration, will provide expertise to ensure the implementation of effective restoration strategies across the Gili Islands. Quarterly meetings with Gili Matra Bersama’s staff will be conducted to offer scientific guidance on upcoming research initiatives. Additionally, one of the advisers will be from a local university to facilitate community research within the Gili Matra Marine Park, fostering local involvement and knowledge exchange.
3 Collaborations with Universities
Establish three collaborations with universities to advance marine conservation efforts. These collaborations will involve joint research projects, knowledge sharing, and capacity-building initiatives. The goal is to leverage the expertise and resources of academic institutions to enhance scientific understanding and promote sustainable practices in marine conservation. The collaborations will result in tangible outcomes such as research publications, community engagement programs, or policy recommendations, contributing to long-term conservation and marine environment protection.
TU Delft – The Netherlands
Wageningen University and Research – The Netherlands
University of Mataram – Indonesia
1 Become a Mission Blue Hotspot
Nominate Gili Matra Marine Park as a Mission Blue Hope Spot by submitting an application with a minimum of two letters of support from outside organisations or individuals. This nomination will highlight the marine park’s scientific significance and ecological importance. As a recognised Hope Spot, Mission Blue will support local conservationists through communications, expeditions, and scientific advice. The goal is to increase community support for ocean conservation by raising awareness locally and globally through online stories shared on multiple platforms, thereby increasing the social media outreach of the Gili Islands.