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Eco-diving directives for Raja Ampat

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

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien ECOCULTURE, Forum for Dignity and Justice in West Papua, Raja Ampat Lestari, The Reef Peoples AllianceSchlagwörter , , , ,

Über Thomas Schultze-Westrum

Dr. Thomas Georg Hans SCHULTZE-WESTRUM Author of Scientific and Popular Publications Producer and Director of Documentary Films and Videos Adviser in Nature Conservation and Preservation of Rural Cultures Initiator of Conservation Programmes German national. Born 1937 (Berlin). Classical education at the Benedictine monastery of Ettal in Upper Bavaria. Graduate of Munich University, with degrees in Zoology, Geology and Cultural Anthropology (Ethnology). Scholarship by “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”. Research (University of Munich, other scientific institutions) and publications on social and population physiology of marsupials and other vertebrate fauna of New Guinea and the Mediterranean Region, cultural anthropology, conservation and resource management on the village level, mainly in Greece and New Guinea. Author of the books “New Guinea” (Berne 1972) and “Biologie des Friedens” (Biology of Peace), Munich 1974. Dr. Schultze-Westrum has joined for several years the Commissions on Ecology and Environmental Planning of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). He is the founder of the working group (IUCN Commission on Ecology) “Conservation and Traditional Life Styles” 1979; the “ECOCULTURE” Movement 1981; the “Gesellschaft für die Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen” GEH (Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of Domestic Animals) 1981; and the non-profit-making society “KALLIERGIA”, for traditional agriculture and village conservation in Greece, 1993. As a consultant he has worked for the EU, IUCN, OECD and WWF. As a film maker he has produced, directed and mostly also shot, for German television and international TV networks, 75 documentaries, mainly ecological portraits with emphasis upon the integration of local and traditionally living people into conservation projects. His first film (1974) was about alternative (sustainable) utilization of tropical rainforests in New Guinea, for ZDF. Never Dr. Schultze-Westrum has entered any of his films into an award winning competition, because he is more concerned about the effects of his TV work in actual conservation and public awareness. One of these real awards was the creation of the Marine National Park Alonnisos Northern Sporades in Greece as a result of his film “The Coast of the Monk Seals” in 1976/77 for ZDF (ratings 36 % - shown in 11 countries). His programme “Green Desert”, about traditional water management in the Sultanate of Oman was distributed by the Television Trust for the Environment TVE to 44, mainly Third World, countries. Another leading aspect of his film work was the production of environmental films for the people of the country where he was filming. So, he produced the first TV series of films on ecology, rural life styles and conservation for Greece (in the early 80’s, 14 programmes) and for the Sultanate of Oman (late 80’s, 12 films). His deep interest in ancient human traditions inspired him to produce “Omani Seafaring”, for Oman TV; “Im Kielwasser Sindbads” (In the Wake of Sindbad), for the series Terra X of ZDF; and “Insel der Magier” (Island of the Sorcerers: Waigeo) for ARTE TV. After retiring from TV film production at the end of 2002 he is returning to his earlier scientific work (abandoned in the early 70’s) about the social and population physiology of marsupials ( Petaurus breviceps papuanus and closely related species); village based conservation; the evolution of human communal behaviour and cultural diversity; and the evolution of art styles in the Papuan Gulf province of New Guinea. Since 1992 he is also involved in eco- and agrotourism programmes that are based on his earlier promotion of this alternative “soft” tourism through publications and films, in Greece and West Papua. His conservation activities are continuously focussed on Greece and New Guinea, since 1957 and 1959, respectively. Dr. Schultze-Westrum now is writing up his experiences of many years field work and he is keeping communications alive through his homepage, from the ancient village of Kazaviti on the island of Thassos in the northern Aegean Sea. The conservation and re-activation of outstanding traditional values of Kazaviti stand at the centre of a local museum and documentation centre to be set up in one or even two old Macedonian stone houses.