Our projects

Biodegradable shampoo and alternative sun protection in Raja Ampat

The world’s most diverse marine ecosystem can be found around the reefs of Raja Ampat in front of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of Western Papua, Indonesia. Many tourists explore the reefs through liveaboard boats which – due to the high costs and lacking disposal facilities – usually aren’t equipped with tanks to store wastewater. With our project we therefore would like to address the visitors who have already spent a high amount of money to visit Raja Ampat’s natural beauties – but with their presence at the same time endanger the ecosystem they came to visit. At present it is nearly impossible to purchase biodegradable shampoo or alternatives to sunscreen. Our idea is to initiate a social enterprise to fill the gap and to create revenues to further advance environmental protection initiatives in Raja Ampat.

Promotion of tourism-independent incomes in indigenious villages of Raja Ampat

Indonesia has kept its borders closed for international tourists since March 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic. This has tremendous implications for indigenious people living in Raja Ampat’s remote villages: On one hand, tourism has been an important source of individual income for many people. On the other one, funds originating from the sale of visitor permits had been used to finance the protection of the marine protection area, for which village people are co-responsible. The longer the pandemic hinders tourism to return to Raja Ampat, the more pressure is on local people to find alternative income sources. A turn to commercial fishing, on the worst case with the use of explosives as it had long been the practice in many parts of Indonesia, would represent a major threat to the pristine coral reefs and its marine fauna and flora. Reef Guardian therefore supports the initiative of its local partner from Waisai (Waigeo island), the Forum Intelektual Suku Ma’ya (FISM) – an association to coordinate and support indigineous people of the Ma’ya – to promote and mentor the production and sale of coconut oil, the cultivation of sago and vegetables and handcrafts. Between October 2021 and March 2022 FISM will run workshops in Raja Ampat’s villages, support necessary investments (purchase of equipment and seeds) and mentor the products’ marketing.

The project is has a financial volume of about 5,000 Euro, equivalent to about 86 million Indonesian Rupiah. 25 per cent of the budget comes from donations collected by Reef Guardian non-profit association while 75 per cent are financed by the small project fund for development cooperation of the Free State of Saxony. You can find further information about the funding programme here.

This project is co-financed from tax funds based on the budget passed by the members of the Parliament of the Free State of Saxony.