Located in the East Indonesia/West Papua region of the coral triangle, Raja Ampat has the highest known concentration and diversity of marine life in the world.
It’s importance to ecology and marine science is only just being discovered. What happens here will have a direct impact globally.
Barefoot Conservation are one of the hosts from our Adventures for Good collection. Here we find out all about their mission and how your adventure helps.
Please tell us a bit more about Barefoot Conservation, what’s your mission?
Our mission is to protect the coral reefs of Raja Ampat and the communities that rely on them. We work in partnership with the local community and government in order to make a real difference. We know that having Marine Protected Areas cannot work unless accompanied by education and the sustained alleviation of poverty.
What makes Raja Ampat so special?
This stunning tropical paradise has the highest known concentration and diversity of marine life on earth. Located in the East Indonesia/West Papua region of the coral triangle, Raja Ampat is a top global priority for marine conservation.
The extent of its importance to marine science and ecology is only just being discovered. Incredibly, the oceans that surround Raja Ampat contain 80% of all the world’s coral species (10 times the number of species found in the entire Caribbean), 1350 species of fish, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and 27 varieties of marine mammal.
In the perfect marine metropolis whale sharks breed, manta rays frolic, sperm whales feed, turtles lay eggs and tropical fish dance before you.
This staggering concentration of biodiversity is unparalleled anywhere in the world today. The reefs at Raja Ampat show remarkable resistance to global marine threats such as climate change, coral bleaching and disease. Larvae produced here are swept across the oceans to replenish other reefs which support healthy ecosystems globally and sustainable subsistence fishing for poor local villagers.
What happens in Raja Ampat will have a direct impact on the world’s marine ecosystem. It is vital we understand and protect it.
That sounds incredible. How does Barefoot Conservation help?
Our projects are designed to work at a grass roots level, thus making a real difference to the local marine habitat and the community, and includes:
- Improving education by teaching in five remote village schools
- Health Clinics
- Dental Hygiene project for the Papuan local community children
- Ocean Warrior project for waste management and education to children on keeping the environment
- Scientific marine surveys, on the coral reefs and marine life of Raja Ampa
- Climate Change research marine surveys
- Family planning projects with local community women’s groups
- Manta Ray population research surveys
- Collaborations with Conservation International, Reef Check, Coral Watch NGO’s and other local stakeholders
We have volunteers and marine conservation students who come from all over the world to support us with these projects. They typically come and stay anywhere between two weeks to six months.
So how do you use the proceeds from your amazing live aboard diving trips?
All the proceeds of these trips, beyond operational costs, go towards running our science and community programmes.
All photos courtesy of Barefoot Conservation.
About our ‘Adventures for Good’ collection
Much Better Adventures was born from a belief that travel can, and should, be a force for good. We take responsible, sustainable travel pretty seriously. For all of our trips, we only work with local, independent providers in order to channel money into rural, local economies. This creates a virtuous circle with local communities and governments who are empowered and incentivised to protect and conserve the incredible environments which attracted these visitors in the first place.
However our Adventures For Good take this philosophy one step further. These trips have been carefully selected to ensure you not only have an amazing adventure, but they also directly support some pioneering organisations delivering positive social impact across the world.
All of the hosts selected for these trips have a proven track record of delivering impressive results in their community and / or through conserving the environment they are working in. Proceeds from every trip are put directly towards achieving that mission so your adventure helps to build a positive legacy.