Why Beach Clean ups in Raja Ampat are so Important
Raja Ampat is home to the most diverse marine life globally because of the nutrient-rich waters that surround the islands that make up the region. The main mass of water flowing through the area is the Dampier Straits. While this body of water is the main reason, the region is so rich in marine life because of the currents that push through the area daily. It is also a highway for any artificial and natural waste discarded in the area, neighbouring regions, and countries. Because of this, great care should be taken in keeping this incredibly diverse region clean.
Many organisations have started promoting clean beach and ocean initiatives in the last decade. Worldwide beach clean-up events are hosted, underwater clean-up dives and many educational campaigns educate communities on recycling and cleaning efforts. With the increase in the world population and the tourism industries steadily growing worldwide, the importance of these initiatives has become even more crucial, especially in regions like Raja Ampat, where the local communities rely on the oceans for their livelihood. Be it from self-sustaining fishing or the thriving diving industry.
Cities like Sorong, which lies to the South of Raja Ampat, serve as a central transportation hub to the area and the large city population that produces a great deal of human waste. However, partly because of a lack of infrastructure to dispose of the waste in an eco-friendly manner and a general lack of education on the topic, most of this waste ends up in the ocean. Eventually, it could make its way to the Raja Ampat Islands. While recently recycling collection points and plants have been introduced in the city, it still falls on the local community to use these at their own cost. A cost many in the area cannot afford.
Because of all these factors, the local communities of the Raja Ampat islands have taken it on themselves to educate others and promote clean-up efforts in their region.
With the support of larger organisations like PADI, Project Aware, and eco-conscious resorts such as Meridian Adventure Dive and local communities host mass beach clean-up events. These events target islands in the region where waste is known to collect or be left behind by less environmentally conscious visitors. During these events, the community is invited to clean the beaches and attend educational presentations, and often prizes are offered as an incentive for their help. Or, in many cases, just the opportunity to visit one of the smaller islands and turn the event into a social event all can enjoy.
Not only are these events fun, but they can become
highly competitive, with buddy groups often comparing who collected the most waste.
When visiting Raja Ampat, be sure to support these clean-up efforts in any way you can and help the local community keep Raja Ampat the paradise it is.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.