Eco-diving directives for Raja Ampat

Published by: Thomas Schultze-Westrum

A community – related proposal

LMA KALANAFAT in collaboration with diving experts, BAPEDA, DINAS WARIWISATA; CAMAT Samate, CAMAT Saonek and CAMAT Misool and other KECEMATAN in the new KAPUPATEN RAJA AMPAT, in close collaboration with the village communities identify the best sites for future diving base camps within the boundaries of Raja Ampat.

The proposals for these base camps are then presented to the village communities in whose territorial boundaries these sites are situated. Each community then, with the assistance of LMA, CAMAT and possibly also DEPARTMENT PERTAHANAN clarifies the ownership for the sites ( hak adat ), both the land ownership and the land utilization rights.

Within each community, on whose territory a base camp is planned, an organising committee of right holders or a local foundation (yayasan) under the chairmanship of the kepala adat should be set up.

LMA assists the local committee or yayasan to find a suitable diving operator for each of the earmarked sites. The operator must hold a diving instructor certificate and must have a genuine motivation for conservation and close cooperation with village people.

Once a qualified diving operator has been found, a contract will be drawn up that considers the following objectives/rules:

  • The facility of the base camp will be fully owned by the village people, either by the entire community or by certain families or by an institution set up for this purpose within the community,

  • The operator owns all the diving equipment that is necessary to run the diving tours,

  • The operator pays for the construction of the base camp and the furnishing. This investment will be paid back by the village partners by providing this facility free of charge to the operator for an agreed period of time. Thereafter the operator pays a rental fee for the facility,

  • For each guest per day of stay in the base camp the operator pays to the village partners a fixed amount,

  • Equally the operator pays a fixed amount to the traditional reef owner community for using a reef, for every guest per day of diving there.

  • The operator uses and supports the tourism potential of the host village community and provides all possible means of additional income: by employing local people, buying fresh food ( fish, vegetables ) for his guests, integrating the community into his non-diving tourism programmes. He also extends training to village people and public awareness for reef protection,

  • The operator undertakes all necessary and possible activities to safeguard the reefs in his/her operation area, especially against the destruction by dynamite bombing and the use of cyanide potassium, in close alliance with the village people and involving police and coastguard in an active way.

  • The contract will be drawn up for a trial period of one year ( or the initial free use period ) with the option of extension for another 2 years and an additional option for further extensions of 3 years periods thereafter.

For the clarification of ownership of the reef areas of Raja Ampat, LMA, BAPEDA and the Department PERTAHANAN prepare a map that shows the agreed boundaries of reef ownership in the Raja Ampat Archipelago.

Under the concept of “conditional access” or “controlled = limited entry”, traditional reef owner communities can refuse diving or any other tourist activities in their reef territory, in case that the visiting tourists or our operator do not conform with the eco-diving rules and do not pay the fees.

LMA together with CAMAT and the villages that are integrated in this Raja Ampat eco-diving scheme must confirm to the resident operator that they do not permit competing diving operators to establish camps or other permanent diving facilities in their area.

Visiting dive cruise boats have to pay a fee per day per diver for using the reef of a village with reference to the map just mentioned.

LMA and the village communities of Raja Ampat regard the diving operator under this scheme as a genuine partner and will support him in running his eco-diving in the most efficient way.

Draft proposal prepared by:


Dr. Thomas Schultze-Westrum

Sorong, January 2002


Athens, April 2003 and September 2003

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This entry was posted on Juli 18, 2010 at 08:58 and is filed under ECOCULTURE, Forum for Dignity and Justice in West Papua, Raja Ampat Lestari, The Reef Peoples Alliance.

2 Responses to “Eco-diving directives for Raja Ampat”

  1. Mister Schultze-Westrum, this \“Eco-diving directives for Raja Ampat\“ is very interesting.

    I\’m a French man, that travelled twice to West Papua & especially in Raja Ampat (5 months in total) Together with young Indonesian researchers we have created a foundation in Yogyakarta (Yayasan) called BASUDARA (friendship) in order to help local communities of Raja Ampat (West Papua) to be ready to face ineluctable economic development.

    A fast economic development is ongoing in Raja Ampat & West Papua (more & more Airlines are coming to Sorong & plans exists to make them landing directly in Waisai (Waigeo airport) – the small airport will be improved).

    We are 100% sure this will not benefits to local communities that I personally love. They are fantastic & I want to help them to benefits from their natural resources (eco-tourism, eco-guides, clubs, local divers, forest trekking etc…).

    We are looking for a way for local communities \“as owner of their lands\“ to develop sustainable tourism activities via cooperatives, clubs etc…

    You probably have an unvaluable experience & we have not. But have energy & we are wiling to help them.
    Can we stay in contact, get your mail and sometimes ask you advises?
    Maybe we can work together on some projects? Why not? We currently have no funds but have direct connexions with local village chiefs & some public agents from local governments that listen to us sometimes.

    Many thanks for your feedback,

    Faouaz HEMIDECHE
    Yayasan BASUDARA.

  2. Jon Morris sagt:

    Dear Thomas,

    I was very interested to read your various articles on West Papua. If you remember, you were in contact with our company around ten years ago to try and promote tourism here.

    I am pleased to say that we are now (finally!) moving into Indonesia and it would be great to perhaps discuss this some more.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me using the details below:

    Jon Morris
    UK tel: + 44 1803 866965

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