GILI ECO TRUST
Gili Eco Trust is a local non-governmental organization created in 2000 initially to protect coral reefs from destructive fishing practices around the three Gili islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan, off Lombok, Indonesia.
The Gili Eco Trust has extended its activities through many other “Eco projects”, in order to regenerate and to protect coral reefs, to prevent soil and beach erosion, to clean up these three beautiful islands, to educate and raise awareness of the population, to organize garbage recycling and waste management, to provide clinical care for the Island’s animals, to develop scientific research on coral reefs with universities, to develop a 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. After the intense El Niño event in 1997-1998 added to several other factors of degradation such as destructive fishing practices with dynamite bombs, had left coral reefs in a disastrous state. The local population reacted and started to organize patrols around the islands to eliminate the bad fishing practices. An agreement was found between fishermen, defining the legal techniques of fishing, within dedicated authorized zones, to put an end to the dynamite and cyanide fishing practices, which was one of the main causes of the 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) on each diver, in order to support financially the initiative of the SATGAS. This tax was mainly 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 to set up a program of regeneration and protection of coral reefs. Since then, more than 100 Biorock structures were installed all around the Gili islands to restore their cliffs and to 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 coming from the whole world to learn more about this outstanding technology of 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, since the Gili Eco Trust extended its projects to the ground environment of islands 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 the Ecotourism. SATGAS has stopped their activities, and the Gili Eco Trust is now working with the BKKPN (Balai Konservasi Kelautan Perairan Nasional), from the national government for the marine zones of the Marine Protected Area, for the protection of the reefs, to implement more Biorock and reef restoration projects, to place mooring buoys, to patrol and to enforce the laws.
The 2015 goals of the Gili Eco Trust is to sort the rubbish issues out as the dump on Trawangan is now an emergency situation. A glass upcycling workshop is now creating glass, lamp shades and ashtrays from unrecycable bottles. Also 2 glass crushing machines are crushing the left over glass bottles into sand and gravel to be used for building material. Promising but we still need huge fundings for an incinerator which is the essential component of a waste management plan.