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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Bawah Anambas Foundation launches with Bawah Reserve

The Bawah Anambas Foundation (BAF) has launched with support from luxury private eco-resort Bawah Reserve, as part of their CSR program, established to help conserve and expand the precious biodiversity found in the Anambas Islands both in the sea and on land, whilst also nurturing community welfare.

Deeply committed to sustainable practices, the foundation was established from a deep understanding of the need to create programmes which rehabilitate and conserve the biodiversity of marine and terrestrial life located not just around Bawah Island but also beyond, throughout the larger space of the Anambas Archipelago.

The foundation has approached sustainability priorities with three inter-related pillars – marine conservation, forest conservation and community development.

Bawah Reverse's commitment to sustainable tourism is ultimately interlinked with these pillars by core sustainability factors: the environment by protecting and preserving the surroundings; the economy by creating business that is profitable; and social by ensuring the welfare of the local community.

Bawah Reserve owner Tim Hartnoll said Bawah Reserve was created with sustainability and the environment in mind and as such, the foundation's key projects are critical in order to improve and protect the ecosystem of the archipelago.

"When we built Bawah Reserve, it was very important that we followed a sustainable operational plan and that we also gave back to the local community, the land and the sea," Mr Hartnoll said.

"While running the resort as a profit-making entity, there is a need of an independent force to implement marine and terrestrial conservation programs, as well as the community empowerment as any achievements with the resort become meaningless if our neighbouring villages and the environment don't grow and prosper together with us. This is something the foundation enables us to do," he said.

Located 160 miles North-East of Singapore, the Anambas Archipelago consists of more than 250 islands across seven sub-districts with 45,000 inhabitants.

Located within the Coral Triangle, an area with 10 times more diverse than the Great Barrier Reef, the archipelago's marine biodiversity urgently needs to be protected. Through BAF's Marine Conservation Programme, projects have been developed for coral reef preservation and rehabilitation, turtle conservation, and fish stock management.

Similarly, BAF's Forest Conservation Programme has created focus on reforestation around Bawah Island, nursery development and the introduction of new species.

In many ways, the most significant is Community Development, with many of Anambas' environmental needs stemming from a lack of education and welfare in the local communities.

Identifying a series of programmes and activities to assist and complement what has been initiated by local governments, BAF is striving to ensure the welfare of the local community which in turn will aid marine and forest conservation and protect the environment.

Head of Anambas Foundation Jerry Winata said after travelling to some of the most remote villages to gain unprecedented insight into the community, their behavioural patterns and daily challenges, and the environmental impact from their actions.

"80 percent of the community's livelihood relying on the ocean, there is a need to educate local villages on the importance of keeping the ocean clean, as well as teaching them ways to reduce this reliance," Mr Winata said.

"With Bawah's unique location within the archipelago presenting BAF with a strategic opportunity to assist some of the farthest villages from the capital of the Anambas district as well as the poorest communities, we identified several critical projects to work within these villages to create local empowerment," he said.

BAF works closely with the local community, government and non-government organizations, as well as academic and research institutions and other private sector companies who share the same ethos to aid community welfare.

Areas of focus include providing an English lesson program to enable locals options to gain work within the tourism sector; actioning a dedicated solid waste management plan, not only for protection of the ocean and villages but to improve hygiene for better health; and to educate the community on the impact of littering and its damage to the environment.

Participating in Indonesia's Our Ocean conference, Bawah Reserve has dedicated $300,000 USD in 2018 to support BAF implement its above, below and beyond priorities, furthering this commitment with nearly $470,000 USD by the end of 2019 to the Our Ocean Conference to support the Indonesian government's targets of reducing marine pollution and management of Marine Protected Areas.

With an unrivalled dedication to marine conservation, Bawah Reserve is an ecologically sound destination with the preservation of the island's natural beauty of paramount importance. An untouched paradise comprising six islands, three azure-blue lagoons and encased by 13 pristine beaches, Bawah is a project of love designed to integrate guests with nature.

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