In October, David Attenborough launched his latest pearl of documentary film making, A Life On Our Planet. In a definitive call for action, the film clearly outlines the trends of habitat and species loss and contrasts these issues against the many achievable things that can and are being done to reverse these negative trends into positive actions.
David Attenborough conveys a powerful message of hope for us and future generations as he offers proven solutions to many of the negative environmental trends that we are now experiencing. The resounding message is that we need to act on these solutions, and we need to act now!
Change must start with individuals, and we at SeaTrek also think it feels good to do the right thing and help! Saying that someone else needs to fix things and pointing fingers at someone else or some other group saying, “Why don’t they do something” never moves things forward. We take Sir David Attenborough message very seriously. As a company we are proud of the environmental and social action we have underway and that we support. But we know we must do more, and doing more starts with us.
What we have come to realize is that we have a very special opportunity to develop our existing environmental programs in a way that helps our guests act now and feel good knowing that their travel is helping. This is a rare chance for a win/win / win. Local species and local communities benefit, your guests benefit, and we benefit.
How does this triple win work? Here is an example: We can increase the effectiveness of our efforts in creating and distributing Indonesian-language children’s books to help kids (and often adults as well) understand the issues around ocean plastics and reef degradation in very remote areas. We can amplify these efforts by creating a parallel English version that when purchased funds 10 additional Indonesian copies for distribution. Kids win, your guests feel good and we feel good. Win / win / win.
Another triple win example is the Peek Under The Surface (PUTS) program started by our Tour Leader Nita. Her program brings swim goggles to kids in remote coastal villages, where many of them have never seen the amazing and important marine life that is just offshore in front of their villages. Knowing by seeing is the important first step in igniting kids’ curiosity about the very marine systems that support themselves and their families. We now know we can expand the reach of this great program by giving your guests the opportunity to bring sets of inexpensive swim goggles for distribution on their trip. They get to meet the very kids they are helping and see an important part of their world for the first time. That has got to feel good. We for sure feel good and the kids get an important step forward in learning how they can guide their own future.
SOME OF OUR OTHER CONSERVATION EFFORTS:
– Together with Ocean Gardener we are working on coral conservation and restoration. We have propagation racks for restoring the local reefs off from Sanur Beach in Bali and we also bring our guests as well as educate our tour leaders on other conservation sites in Candidasa and Amed. We are currently working on activating an additional conservation site off from the north coast of Sumbawa.
– We have additional Indonesian language kids books under development about a local dolphin trainer turned dolphin conservationist. Another kids book underway brings plankton to life in a story about the important role they play in the ocean around the Indonesian islands. A third book is about the discoveries of the great naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace while he was in Indonesia, which him to co-discover the “Theory of Evolution Through Natural Selection” with Charles Darwin.
– One of our newest efforts is working with Health in Harmony to offset our own carbon use with the boats and also to offer your guests the opportunity to offset their travel to be with us. At the same time, we will all be helping conserve important Orangutan habitat in southern Borneo, another triple win!
– We are also working together with a great organization “LINI” that is pioneering ways to work together with local fisherman to conserve and restore their local reefs and educate them about the complex ecology that keeps their reefs healthy and productive.
– We are also proud to be working together with the Biosphere Foundation. We are helping them with local crew and planning on guest rendezvous with their two-year coral research and conservation effort in the heart of the coral triangle, the Raja Ampat area of eastern Indonesia.