Book Project “Ocean Warriors” in Raja Ampat
Together with our project partner “Friendly Drifter” and our sponsor BORSI we started another project in the autumn of 2016 looking at “ecological education and strategic disposal of plastic in particularly sensitive areas of the world worthy of protection”.
In Raja Ampat, an archipelago in Indonesia (West Paua), which is unique in the world because of its maritime biodiversity, there is neither the know-how nor the financial capacity, similar to Puerto Natales, where we already successfully implemented our first project “Containers for Puerto Natales”, to ensure professional waste disposal.
Therefore the movers and shakers of “Friendly Drifter” have set themselves the target, with the support of regional politicians and the local population, to build a professional waste separation and disposal system, which protects and sustains regional nature conservation and biodiversity in the long-term. The challenge is particularly big in this case as the organisers are literally starting from scratch!
The target is to be achieved in several project stages. The organisers of “Friendly Drifter”, having collated the initial financial means through various fundraising projects in the first step (Ocean´s Run), are now to develop projects in the second step, which make it possible to sensitise and educate the local population, but also those regionally responsible for policies and education as far as waste reduction, waste separation and recycling is concerned.
The first partial project for this, namely “Ocean Warriors-Plastic in Paradise”, has already been started with local friends of the project team. “Ocean Warriors – Plastic in Paradise” is a children’s book, which tells the story of a native pair of siblings, Novi and Petrus, who believe that their homeland, Raja Ampat, is in paradise, until one day when out diving they are confronted with the situation of their friend, the sea turtle Kura-Kura, almost choking on a piece of plastic. From this day onward they ask themselves questions: Where does all the waste come from that they do not produce themselves, how it can be avoided and how they can help to keep the ocean and beaches clean?
This book will soon be introduced as educational material in the region’s schools in order to make the youngest and therefore the next generation aware and to mobilise them. The authors of the book, the printing being sponsored by the company BORSI, have succeeded in creating a touching guide for young people, which is so authentic because the text and the loving illustrations were contributed by people who have put their heart and soul into this area, which is still one of the last “Gardens of Eden” on this planet.
Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau. The Raja Ampat archipelago is the part of Coral Triangle which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth.
The oceanic natural resources around Raja Ampat give it significant potential as a tourist area. Many sources place Raja Ampat as one of their top ten most popular places for diving whilst it retains the number one ranking in terms of underwater biodiversity.
The area’s massive coral colonies along with relatively high sea surface temperatures, also suggest that its reefs may be relatively resistant to threats like coral bleaching and coral disease, which now jeopardize the survival of other coral ecosystems around the world. The Raja Ampat islands are remote and relatively undisturbed by humans.