GILI ECO TRUST
YAYASAN EKOSISTEM GILI INDAH
Gili Eco Trust is a local non-governmental organization, first created in 2000, to protect coral reefs from destructive fishing practices around the three Gili islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan, off Lombok, Indonesia.
The official Indonesian name of the Gili Eco trust is Yayasan Ekosistem Gili indah, registered local NGO in Indonesia.
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…
Learn more about our projects and donate at: Global Grassroot Funding
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 reef donation of 50,000IDR (4€, US$5) per diver, in order to financially assist the initiative of SATGAS. This donation was chiefly used to pay the SATGAS employees, to place buoys of anchoring, to restore the reefs, 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, 137 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.
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 until now 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.
Waste ManagementGili Eco Trust's main project on land is improving waste management. Waste is a permanent issue for Gili islands, especially because of their tourism.
The Gili Eco Trust works with the FMPL (the waste collection’s company on Gili Trawangan) which collects waste every day. Gili Eco Trust helps FMPL by providing to them funds, housings for their employees, veterinary clinics for their over-exploited horses, and advices on waste management.
Gili Eco Trust has renovated the waste dump by building an elevated road to reach it as well as a wall surrounding it. The Gili Eco Trust has also collected funds across the island to buy trash bins from 3 different colours, distributed these bins to all Trawangan residents, and organized special events to train the population to the right usage of these bins and to encourage recycling.
Despite these efforts, the dumps are full and the waste situation became a sanitary priority for the Gili’s islands. That’s why the GET is now looking for fundings to put in place a proper waste management system towards ZERO WASTE.
Plan is there but fundings are still missing!
Weekly Beach Clean Up DaysEvery Friday, Sea Made and Gili Eco Trust with GIDA (Gili Islands Diving Association) organize a beach clean-up day inviting tourists to join the volunteers from Gili’s to collect all the rubbish from the beach. it starts at 5pm every friday from any place on the island and ends up in one of the sponsors with a FREE beer. Follow us on facebook to know where you need to bring your rubbish collected to get your free beer.
Weekly Clean Up DaysOn every Friday’s, the village’s head and the entire community select a particular place of the island to be clean up from all its rubbish. it happens in the early morning! Please contact Delphine if you want to join the local population for this responsible activity!
Besides these Friday’s, the Gili Eco Trust employ 2 permanent workers with a horse and a horsekart to clean up the islands every day except Sundays. Gili Eco Trust volunteers and interns often joined them for more results!
Encouraging Tourists and Locals to RecycleGili Eco Trust cooperates with the FMPL, the local waste collection company of Trawangan. The waste dump has been rebuilt and an elevated road was built to reach the dump even during rainy season. Local people are used to burning their waste. This method is extremely polluting. The Gili Eco Trust tries to raise awareness about it and to change local habits and encourages recycling. We have tried to push for composting, but so far only a few private house and Le Petit Gili does it. The Gili Eco Trust bought more than a thousand coloured bins for businesses and local people. Reusable bags are ordered and distributed... Tetra bricks used to be sent to Eco Bali, a partner of the Gili Eco Trust by fast boats but now the fast boat companies do not want to mix waste and customers! Cans, cardboards, cans and plastics bottles are recycled in Lombok.
However, the popularity of the islands and its increasing flow of tourists for the past 5 years generated a massive growth of the waste. That is why the GET is looking for investing in an incinerator, to treat this waste on the spot, to avoid burning them outdoor or letting this waste flying all around the islands. The Gili’s are too small to keep on storing waste.
GET realized almost one third of the volume of the rubbish dump on Gili T. consists of glass bottles.
Only Bintang bottles are consistently being sent back to the supplier to be refilled, which is the most environmentally efficient way of dealing with empty glass bottles. Although this would also be an option for all other beer bottles, for many small businesses, the cost of collecting and shipping them to the mainland is not economically viable. These bottles, along with all the ones which don’t have a deposit on them end up in the overflowing dump in the center of the island or on Lombok.
One of the solutions for using all the unrecycled glass was to “turn trash to treasures” and make drinking glasses, ashtrays, lampshades and earrings out of the empty bottles.
After a few weeks of research, volunteer Isa set up the glass upcycling workshop on Gili T using locally available tools and a local worker, Zul, was trained to create products out of discarded bottles.
These environmentally friendly wares have already been purchased and put into use by some of Gili T’s businesses including Trawangan Dive, Sama Sama, Manta Dive, Diversia, Gili Café, Villas Ottalia, Gili Ecovillas, Broken Compass Hostel, Gili Hostel and the Yoga place.
Discarded bottles were used as bricks to create a Smirnoff Ice bottle wall next to Intan Inn Hostel. Plastic waste of different colors was stored within the bottles, thus creating patterns in the wall, and offering a more environmentally friendly solution to plastic waste than burning or dumping it.
Broken Compass Hostel used all sorts of bottles as internal windows, sources of natural light and lampshades.
Sand and gravel
As a further solution to the huge amounts of unrecycled glass on the island, the GET invested in two glass crushing machines which produce sand and gravel for use in building projects.
Deposit bottle collection
The GET aims to centralize the collection of bottles which have a deposit on them and group their shipping so that it becomes economically viable to send them back to Lombok for refill.
Prevent erosionAnother issue on the Gili islands is erosion.
Beach erosionTo prevent beach erosion, Biorock structures are installed near the beach to slow down waves and to limit its erosive impact on the beaches. But as only the dive shops and hotels have invested in their own Biorock structure, the beach erosion continues, due to the sea level rise (global warming), to the destruction of their reefs and to the touristic development of the beaches.
Soil erosionTo prevent soil erosion, Gili Eco Trust organises Vetiver grass plantation. Vetiver grass is an efficient natural solution to maintain sand on the beach with roots that can reach 5 meters deep.
If you would like to plant some Vetiver grass, feel free to contact us, we have a nursery at the SMK school.
On Gili Trawangan's hill trees are planted to limit landslides during rainy season. These Planting Programs are led by the Gili Eco Trust in association with the local school.
Gili Eco Trust Veterinary clinicBicycle and pony carts known as Cidomos are the unique modes of transport authorized in the Gili’s. Horses of the Gili’s suffer from bad treatment. Whereas horses normally live about 25 years, they live couple of years less than that on the Gili’s islands because of the amount of work they are demanded and the lack of care from their owners who ignore what they need.
The GET opened veterinary clinics for horses in 2009 with the support of “Umalas Stable” and of “JAAN (Jakarta Animal Aid Network)”. The horse’s conditions improve but the main target of the clinics is now to educate their owners and drivers.
Treatment and care of the horsesPulling carts around the island wouldn’t be a problem for their health if they could drink fresh water and rest regularly, and be treated when they need to. That’s why the Gili Eco Trust opens its clinic for free to the horses twice a month with local skilled personnel, and also twice a year in association with “Jakarta Animal Aid Network” and with veterinarians coming to help as volunteers.
Donations are received from all around the world to help the animals of the islands. Gili Eco Trust also encourages the shops and the tourists to participate in it. Certain weeks, a mobile clinic looks after the horses of three Gili’s islands.
Cats' Sterilization / Cats of GiliWhile dogs are forbidden on the Gili’s islands, cats are them in excess. Special weeks are organized by the Gili Eco Trust to sterilize cats, helped by Indonesian and western veterinary surgeons and volunteer’s tourists to limit their reproduction on the Gili’s islands.
We have now a daily cat clinic and our cat lady at Egoiste. You can bring your cat there, go for a visit, give a donation for food or medicines!
Raising awarenessTo make things and behaviors really evolve, the Gili Eco Trust led actions to raise awareness amongst local inhabitants and tourists:
- Teaching at the school: “English” courses, training about “Dive Shop Business”, and courses on “Development of the Small Touristic Islands”.
- Distribution of the reusable bags in the mosque and in stores and in local markets.
- Organization of events for raising the awareness of the tourists and locals on the protection of the sharks and rays and about their value on the dive/tourist market rather than their simple body value per Kg on the Chinese market (Tanjung Luar Fish Market's visits, events for the Ocean’s world day)
- Education on animal’s care and treatments
- Education about the importance of coral reefs for small islands like the Gili’s
- And much more…
In order to touch all the population of the Gili’s, the GET is deploying posters and panels all over the islands, indicating the things to avoid or to do to protect the environment.
Furthermore, Gili Eco Trust proposes to all the shops and companies of the islands specific trainings of their staff for developing "eco" behaviours and best practices, and supplies to the owners of boats all the basic explanations about the corals and their protection.
- Enhanced protection of the reefs and of the marine life, with an enforcement of the local regulations by the population itself and by the authorities, working more with the DKP and BKKPN
- More Biorock structures and reefs all around the three islands, a new project in May - June 2015 for Manta Dive Gili Air for a full snorkling park made of Biorocks
- More awareness of swimmers and snorkelers about importance of corals
- More shops, companies and tourists involved in our Biorock workshops
- More moorings buoys around the protected areas
- More educational events to raise further awareness of the population
- Our Main goal for 2015 is a proper waste management project, as we are dealing finr with the glass upcycling workshops, but we need to have an incinerator on the island for a real reduction of the rubbish dump and daily rubbish on Trawangan.
- Continuous cleaning of Gili Trawangan and banning of the plastic bags
- Education of the local kids and workers about waste management and recycling
- but also…
- Ø RESTORING CORAL REEFS USING BLUE RENEWABLE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
We built a tidal turbine prototype, which worked but the rotation was too slow. We are currently working with engineers from the ARUP to improve its efficiency and to build a new prototype.
Now our turbine is coming together with fiber glass blades and the catamaran is getting built with a proper built in generator!!!
We are planning to test it as soon as it is done and in the water, and if it works to connect it for a big Biorock project to stabilise the sea bad in the North of Trawangan.
Diving volunteers and interns must join this course to be able to do their research or help us with Biorock maintenance, coral reefs studies or any water involved jobs.
Students must have a minimum certification of Advanced Open Water to enroll in the 2 week program, but it only takes five days to complete both the PADI Open Water and Advanced courses.
During the 2 weeks students will complete the Biorock® Specialty course (PADI specialty certification) and Reef Check Eco diver Certification to be able to do Reef Surveys all over the world. Reef Check material included, diving 2 times a day.
Students will gain further knowledge and experience in reef ecosystem identification, Reef survey techniques and coral gardening. 2 dives every day, some nice theory time, coral watch dive, coral reefs biology, lot of practical, clean up, shark release...etc During the second week of this program students will work together to create their own Biorock®: designing, building, welding, sinking, connecting and learning about the main aspects of the Biorock maintenance.
The 2 weeks course costs 10millions IDR included all of the above and certifications
One week program for only Biorock is 4 millions IDR, on request with a group
For larger group bookings, specific dates can be requested.
The Gili Eco Trust is happy to welcome volunteers.
All year around, we are looking for help in:
- Marine Biologists or divers to monitor and maintain Biorock reefs and to publish articles or report about the amazing results.
- Electrician / Engineer to develop a tidal energy turbine to power the Biorock with ocean current
- Permaculture / Biodynamism specialists for our organic gardens set up and projects to expand.
- Vets and assistant vets to help out in our next clinic: next clinic in April 2016 starting on the 4th
- Volunteer to update our website (English, French, Spanish, German), increase our marketing and social media coverage.
- Follow up on data collection for sharks, turtles and ray population as well as identification of the reef sharks around the Gilis, study and statistics of the data as well.
- GIZ mapping students or experts to update the 3 island maps with zones of the Marine Protected area
- Promoting our recycling products on the 3 islands, as well as all over Indonesia
- Setting up a newsletter and updating the mailing lists as well as keeping the communication with all businesses who support our NGO and getting more businesses involved in our projects
- Business or marketing students or experts: to help marketing our actions and applying for grants, as well as helping to organise fundraising events.
- Volunteers who are interested in teaching at the local school: English, sports, environment, sciences, anything you want to share!
- Volunteers / artists who want to work with plastic, glass or any other items that are not recycled locally to make a sustainable business or create some kind of structure for the corals to grow on!
- Working a on waste management plans for Gili Trawangan: working with Bank Sampah, Eco Bali, APGT, FMPl. Education, strategy, evaluation of quantity and quality of rubbish to find best solutions to apply on Trawangan...etc
For larger group bookings, specific dates can be requested.
Been there, done that!
Some of our previous volunteers tell us a little bit about their experiences with the Eco Trust
Christine - August 2016
I'm Christine Evans and I am a volunteer with the Gili Eco Trust. I am from the United States (Texas specifically) where I studied marine biology in college. For the past 4½ years I have been working in aquariums, from rearing jellyfish to swimming with sharks. I have always had a passion for marine conservation and had been looking for a way to get involved and learn more about this field for quite some time. While looking through a scuba diving magazine, I stumbled across the Gili Eco Trust. It was exactly what I had been looking for: the perfect combination of education and conservation, both of which are really important to me. Immediately, I signed up for the Reef Check and Biorock course and committed myself to 2 months of volunteering. During the 2 week course, I learned so much about the local marine life and the importance of biorocks. Now I spend my time maintaining the biorocks, spreading environmental awareness around the island, helping separate rubbish on the dump, and assist with any other projects we have going on. Surrounding myself with people that share my same passion is by far my favorite part about volunteering with the Gili Eco Trust.
Céline Beaudon August 2016
21 years old, M1 Economy of Companies and territories, Bordeaux Sciences Agro