Local products from Raja Ampat

A social enterprise in Waisai, Waigeo island

Since 2021, Reef Guardian e. V. promotes the marketing of ecologically sustainable products made in different villages of Raja Ampat, such as coconet oil, cacao beans, chocolate, sagu, handicrafts and jewelery. These local products can be purchased at a storefront in  Waisai which at the same time serves as storage before resale to wholesalers. The marketing of local products is managed by a social enterprise under the umbrella of a local non-profit foundation (Yayasan Kamtabai Raja Ampat; YKRA).

The structures in place today result from two small projects, which Reef Guardian had realised in 2021 and 2022 in collaboration with the local organisation  “Forum Intelektual Suku Ma’ya” (FISM). The projects were originally planned to compensate the loss of income when tourism came to a standstill because of the covid-19 pandemic.

The first project (2021/2022) focused on running workshops at four villages in Raja Ampat to raise awareness for the opportunities sustainable local products are presenting. In its second phase, those interested in marketing local products received a coaching on questions of market access and pricing for their produce.

The first project laid open that the transport of local products to Waisai, where daily ferries to connect to the Papua mainland are calling, and the subsequent marketing represent considerable (insurmountable) challenges for many producers living in isolated indigenous villages. A second project, that was launched together with FISM late in 2022, provided therefore financing to purchase a longboat for transports between villages and Waisai and to open a store of local products in Waisai. The established logistics also provide storage to market local produce to wholesalers. Furthermore, professional photos were taken to better communicate the local products.

Reef Guardian submitted a successful bid for further funding in 2024, again from Saxony’s small-project fund. The additional financing will be used for small-scale investments (fridge, solar power generator, boat engine, small jetty, etc) to further strengthen the social business and to optimise its business operations.

The promotion of sustainable local products indirectly serves the protection of Raja Ampat’s precious flora and fauna as the pressure to earn an income in tourism is reduced while small-scale local production is done without inducing harm to nature. The marketing of local products furthermore generates additional resources for local efforts to protect coral reefs and the sea. To underscore that local village heads (“kapela desa”) signed letters of intent in the same of their local communities to pledge the protection of nearby reefs. YKRA’s team furthermore takes use of its transport runs to monitor the reefs’ conditions.


If you donate..

Reef Guardian e. V. supports the purchases of equipment and the further advancement of the activities of the social enterprise while running costs are financed by revenues from the sale of local products. Among the items still needed to fully exploit the potentials of local products are a refrigerator, photovoltaics and battery for electricity during blackouts and equipment for workshop presentations



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