Barefoot Conservation is working to protect the coral reefs of Raja Ampat and the communities that rely on them. This partnership is bonded by a willingness to make a real difference, and the understanding that research, survey dives and Marine Protected Areas cannot work unless accompanied by education and the sustained alleviation of poverty.
The Raja Ampat project is designed to work at a grass roots level, making a real difference to real people, and a difference that you can be a part of. Our goals are:
• Produce detailed coastal habitat maps of surrounding area for use in advising local government and communities on Marine Protected Areas
• Provide educational programs on environmental issues, sustainable fishing techniques (if necessary) and the economic benefits of MPA's.
• Increase quality of life and alleviate poverty in local communities.
• Encourage entrepreneuship to deter unsustainable destructive activities like shark finning or dynamite fishing
- Work with experienced marine scientists on vital marine conservation projects
- Learn marine biology field skills essential for scientific and marine conservation research
- Get involved in local community projects
- Gain recognized scuba diving qualifications, skills and experience
What to Expect
Your typical day will consist of 2 survey dives and time spent on various community projects in the local community. At Barefoot Conservation we believe it is vital to work in the community, educating, improving equality of life and alleviating poverty, alongside producing a detailed habit map of the surrounding coral reef/marine life that the community rely so heavily on.
Breakfast will be served at 7am and will consist of a good, healthy, filling meal to start the day with. Depending on weather, and advice from our local dive guides, you will either start your first survey dive of the day at 9am or visit the local community to assist on various community projects which the Community Officer will organise.
At the end of each survey dive you will relay the data from your dive slates on to the data recording sheets, for later entry into our database.
After lunch (12:00-12:30) you will do the opposite of what you did in the morning, so if you worked on community projects in the morning, your undertake survey dives in the afternoon and vice versa.
Dinner is served at 19:00 and, after a short de-brief session on the days activities, the evening is yours to relax, have a cold beer and talk about the amazing marine life you saw or the kind villagers you made friends with.
Some evenings may involve advanced presentation or Indonesian language lessons for those interested and theory sessions for volunteers taking extra PADI scuba courses.
Monday to Friday are reserved for survey dives and Community project work.
Saturday is for fun dives where the Barefoot dive profiles are relaxed slightly, and dive computers can be used for mulit-level divers, that are deeper and longer.
Wednesday mornings the team goes to Waisai the capital of Raja Ampat to collect/drop off volunteers and pick up supplies. Voluteers can join this trip to use the internet and buy any extra luxury items in Waisai. Please be aware that the capital only has a population of 6000 and hence is still small, so it does not have hundreds of shops.
Sunday is a complete NO dive day, this is health & safety reasons and gives your body time to recover from the weeks diving. This gives you some valuable downtime when you can sunbath, play beach volleyball or football, go for a swim/snorkel, read a book, go for a walk around the island, watch a movie or visit the local village.
Saturdays & Sundays may be used by the SI when teaching extra PADI Scuba courses, however only confined diving (no deeper than 5 meters) can be undertaken on the Sunday.
NOTE* The above typical day is open to flexibility; the day may not always be as above due to logistical reasons or situations out of our control (bad weather, public holidays, fuel shortages, community ceremonies etc..). The morning survey dives may be at a far away dive site and thus breakfast may be served earlier. Or the local village may be off limits for the day due to private religious ceremonies. When ever possible Barefoot will try to stick to the typical day plan, however a certain amount of flexibility and understanding is needed from all expedition personnel.
Extra PADI Courses
There will be opportunities for you to do the PADI EFR, Rescue Diver and Divemaster courses while on the project.
Housing & Meals
Accommodation is provided on our amazing beach-front location on Arborek Island, just meters from the calm, crystal clear ocean and comprises basic dormitory style beach bungalows. Each bungalow has been hand built by the local community using traditional methods and materials. You will be provided with a bunk bed, mattress, pillow, basic linen (you may wish to bring a light sleeping bag) and mosquito net, along with a fan for each room. The bungalows are mixed sex and have power supply so you can recharge cameras and ipods.
**Please note accommodation is in basic shared beach bungalows, and is not of a 5 star luxury resort!**
The project site has western style toilets and limited fresh water to shower/wash in. While the island does have water wells, these are now getting increasing salty, so currently our fresh water comes from Waisai each Wednesday, while we find a solution to the communities/islands fresh water supply issue. Due to this and because we are a conservation project on a tropical island so we may at times limit the amount of shower time.
We provide 3 healthy and filling meals a day (specific diets are catered for). These meals are at fixed times during the day, so that the day's dive surveying and community projects can be effectively managed. Meals are based upon local cuisine and seasonal availability of locally produced food. Meals are prepared and cooked by local staff (with the assistance of expedition staff/volunteers), except on Sundays when expedition staff & volunteers will prepare and cook all meals.
While we will endeavor to provide a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables during your expedition, you may wish to consider bringing a supply of vitamin supplements. Volunteers with specific dietary requirements will be catered to.
Barefoot Conservation's mission is to work in partnership with the Raja Ampat local government, local Papuan Communities and stakeholders, to protect the coral reefs of Raja Ampat and the communities that rely on them.
This partnership is bonded by a willingness to make a real difference, and the understanding that research, survey dives and Marine Protected Areas cannot work unless accompanied by education and the sustained alleviation of poverty.
Our projects are designed to work at a grass roots level, thus making a real difference to real people, and a difference that each volunteer can see and be a part of.
Indonesia, the world's largest island country with over 17,000 islands, exudes diversity. Each island has a unique mixture of people, customs, food, and landscapes. If you are looking to experience an incredible rainforests, see some of the world's rarest animals, and learn about different cultures - Indonesia is the place for you.