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- Delphine Robbe
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The Gili Islands are 3 beautiful Islands off the West Coast of Lombok and only a 3 hour boat ride from Bali.The Gili Islands are already a popular tourist destination and a world known diving paradise, and its popularity is growing massively, year on year. But all of this is in danger as it is the case is so many areas of the world. Due to many factors such as Global Warming, changed weather activities, storms, deforestation, and of course human destruction such as pollution, hotel development and non sustainable technology, ignorant anchoring, and destructive fishing practices. The combination of these problems the land, the beaches and the coral reefs, especially in the shallow water, have suffered devastating damages.
First a group of fishermen formed SATGAS to defend their waters from dynamite fishing, after few months of patrolling they ran out of money so they asked the diveshops to help them for petrol money and boat maintenance. That is why people who care formed the Gili Eco Trust in 2001 to help SATGAS in their good initiatives. Then SATGAS- Gili Eco Trust expand their activities to conserve and protect these wonderful Islands and encourage a more environmental friendly atmosphere. Many ecological projects and much effort have already started to try to address these problems, but as usual it is never enough, and more needs to be done to protect this natural wonder.
Our big sucess is in the ocean with mooring buoys installation and Biorock Reef Restoration, clean up days every week and month, education, Reef Check Survey, monitoring and restoring the coral reefs... We are still fighting for a fishing free zone as well as anchoring free zone... difficult but we are not giving up! Since 2004 Biorock® structures have been installed around the coasts of the Gilis, thanks to the efforts and generous funding of local businesses.
The Gili Eco Trust has organized 3 International Biorock training workshop with the contribution of many businesses, diveshops, Indonesian government, University and local community. More than 200 participants acquired training in the theory and practice of Biorock® Technology for coral reef restoration, fisheries habitat restoration, mariculture, ecotourism, and shore protection.
The Gili Eco trust is expanding his activities. We are opening the Gili Eco Trust to any business from Gili Trawangan who would like to join the meetings and the eco-friendly guidelines we try to implement to make the island better. We are working on education about rubbish selection, recycling, banning plastic bags, compost, sewage, horse and cat clinics....etc