The Gili Eco Trust has extended its activities to many other “Eco projects”. We regenerate and protect coral reefs, prevent soil and beach erosion, help clean up these three beautiful islands, educate and raise awareness of the population, organize garbage recycling and waste management, provide clinical care for the Island’s animals, and develop scientific research on coral reefs with universities. We are engaged in sustainable Eco tourism using green energies, and much more…
In 1999, a local association called SATGAS was established by local fishermen to protect the coral reefs of the Gili’s Islands from fishing practices using dynamite bombs. Coral reefs had been left in a disastrous state after the intense El Niño in 1997-1998 that added to the several other causes of degradation, such as destructive fishing practices with dynamite bombs. The local population reacted and started to organize patrols around the islands in order to eliminate the bad fishing practices. An agreement was concluded between the fishermen, defining the legal techniques of fishing, limited to defined authorized zones, with the purpose of putting an end to dynamite and cyanide fishing practices, main contributors to coral reef destruction.
To support the SATGAS, the main dive shops of the Gili’s islands decided to establish the NGO “Gili Eco Trust” in 2000. The idea was to raise an Eco tax 50,000IDR (4€, US$5) per diver, in order to financially assist the initiative of SATGAS. This tax was chiefly used to pay the SATGAS employees, to place buoys of anchoring, to restore the cliffs, and to organize many other non-profit projects to protect the environment around the islands.
In 2004, Delphine Robbe, part-time coordinator of the Eco Gili Trust, imported the Biorock technology. Biorock technology was invented by WOLF HILZBERG and TOM GOREAU (www.globalcoral.org). The Gili Eco trust has used the Biorock technology to set up a program of regeneration and protection of coral reefs. Since then, 120 Biorock structures have been installed all around the Gili islands, helping to restore and maintain their coral reefs.
Since 2006, a Biorock workshop is organized every two years by Gili Eco Trust. The eighth international Biorock seminar took place in November, 2012, with more than 100 participants from all over the world coming to learn more about this outstanding technology for the restoration of coral reefs, which offers a stable environment for corals and fishes, and promotes the concept of Ecotourism.
2009 was a turning point for the NGO, because the Gili Eco Trust extended its projects to the land environment of the islands of Gili. In order to manage all these additional projects, Delphine Robbe became the full-time coordinator of the NGO Gili Eco Trust.
Today, Gili Eco Trust drives several projects to ensure a sustainable development of Gili islands and to promote Ecotourism. SATGAS has stopped their activities. The Gili Eco Trust is now working with the BKKPN (Balai Konservasi Kelautan Perairan Nasional), with directions from the national government to protect reefs within the marine zones of Marine Protected Areas, to implement more Biorock and reef restoration projects, to place mooring buoys, and to patrol and enforce the laws.
The 2015 goals of the Gili Eco Trust include sorting out the rubbish issues, because the dump on Trawangan now presents an emergency situation. A glass upcycling workshop is creating glass, lamp shades and ashtrays from non-recyclable bottles. Moreover, two glass crushing machines crush the left-over glass bottles into sand and gravel that can be used for building material. This is a promising start, but we still need a huge amount of funding for an incinerator, an essential component of an efficient waste management plan.