Gili Eco Trust

There are over 3,500 marine species living in the reefs and seas of Indonesia. In comparison to the Great Barrier Reef (1,500 species) and Red Sea (600 species), Indonesian’s coral reefs are the global center of marine biodiversity. With 17,502 islands and 85,700 sq/km of coral reef (14% of the whole world coral reef), Indonesia holds the world’s richest variety of coral with 450 species. It is one of the Indonesia’s greatest assets.

Situation on Gili Trawangan

Basket of coralGili Trawangan is a beautiful Indonesian island and a popular destination for tourists and divers. Unfortunately a  proportion of the fringing coral reef has been damaged by global warming, natural weather action (storms).In Gili Trawangan, the Gili Eco Trust is a non profit organization concerned with cleaning the island and protecting the coral reefs from destructive fishing methods. Each diver in Gili trawangan has to pay a reef tax of Rp40,000. This money is collected and reinvested to collect and manage the rubbish problem on the island, to pay the fisherman a salary in exchange of no more destructive fishing practices, and control the application of the rules.

Since 2004 there are now 20 biorock structures already installed in the Gili islands, on Trawangan and Meno. They can all be seen be either snorkeling or diving, they start in front of Villa Ombak Hotel all the way along the beach in front of all the dive centres to the main beach area known as Goodheart. And a variety of shapes and large areas in front of Malias Child on Gili Meno. These projects have involved many local Indonesians and westerners from divemasters to biologists.

Bio Rock Dome Gili TA new artificial reef extends the possibilities for the Gili islands and the local population to learn how to protect their environment and see the benefits of their actions. The new projects are designed to involve more people and to spread the information resulting from the structures and its benefits.

Gili islands January 2008 Biorock Update [click here]
Gili islands August 2008 Biorock update [click here]
Gili islands December 2008 Biorock update [click here]
Gili islands November 2012 Biorock update [click here]

The methods pioneered in Pemuteran have proven successful where other strategies have shown little result in restoring reefs and fisheries. This project has demonstrated that restoring coral growth can bring fish back to the area. Local fishermen see schools of many kinds of fish attracted to the coral nurseries, as they pass over them en route to their barren fishing grounds miles off shore.

Biorock projects inthe Gilis is a new initiative for the local community, helping them to protect their coral reef and understand the importance of maintaining a healthy, vibrant marine ecosystem for future generations.


  • Build additional Biorock structures to grow other artificial reefs in all Gili islands.
  • Create a new coral reef on Gili Trawangan involving the local population.
  • Teach the local population how to protect their environment and show them the benefits of reef protection and regeneration for them and their children.
  • The structure is also designed as a teaching material for scuba diving. Many PADI specialties can be taught using the structure including underwater photography, fish identification, and underwater naturalist.
  • Involve dive instructors and divemasters from the all Gili islands. Teach students to respect marine life with a visit to the structure during a scuba diving course or a fun dive.
  • Make the following studies: growth rate; survival rate; document the different species of fish settled on the structure; visiting fish numbers and the effect of the accretion on the different species of coral
  • Build a Web Site describing the project and following the regeneration of the reef.
  • Get tourists actively involved through contribution to the building, financing and ongoing growth of the structure.
  • Organize more Biorock workshops in Gili Trawangan with Thomas Goreau, Wolf Hilbertz, Indonesian universities, western students, dive instructors and others.
  • The hope and plan is to extend this process to the entire region. To expand the reef restoration by building more structures and extending the existing structures deeper and wider.


The project is to build a biorock structure in Gili Trawangan to create a coral reef and generate marine life around it. Two electrodes supplied with low voltage direct current are submerged in sea water. Electrolytic reactions at the cathode cause minerals naturally present in sea water to build up. At the same time a wide range of organisms on or near the growing substrate are affected by electrochemically-changed conditions, shifting their growth rate.
Diver adding coral to a bio-rock structureStray or loose living corals are carefully collected from nearby damaged reefs and transplanted onto the structures. They are attached with wires or wedged between steel bars. These coral bits are quickly cemented into place by growing minerals forming over the structures surface. The reefs are electrically charged to grow.
The reef restoration project is only one phase of a bigger overall plan. The timescale of the project is many years as coral grows slowly and releases spores only once a year to repopulate other areas. However the technology ensures that the coral structures inside the project will stay healthy even in times of stress. One of the many benefits of the reef restoration project is that reef fish, schooling fish and many other marine life forms gravitate to the area. It is a fish nursery as well as a coral nursery and therefore will become an excellent snorkeling and dive site.

The location of the new artificial reefs in Gili Trawangan is all along the beach, for about 800 metres in water 6-14 meters deep. The power supply comes from the dive centers and businesses directly opposite each structure. The structures are made of steel bars 10 meters in length and 8 millimeters diameter. There is a tunnel 1,5 meters high, 10 meters long and 2,5 meters wide, and even the shape of a small plane on Gili Meno. The coral is tied up at the intersection of the bars, mostly on the top of the structures. Some steel mesh (chicken wire) is attached to some parts of the structure to provide fish habitats.
The first structures will be the beginning of the project and lots of smaller structures will be connected to the first one.

Biorock techniques and development

Damaged coral reefs take years to recover naturally. Despite conservation efforts now to address these problems, natural regeneration under existing efforts is inadequate, in part due to increasing global stresses.

In Krang Lestari Pemuteran (Protected Coral) project, hotels, dive shops, village fisher folk, scientists and conservationists did unite to, protect and restore coral reefs, increase fishery resources and develop sustainable economy for local fisherman communities, which are benefiting both tourism and local economy.

A compelling element of this pilot project is the interactive involvement of traditional community, governmentLocal worker soldering a control panel and private enterprise. Its goal is to enhance tourism through conservation and protection, while contributing to the local economic benefit.

With this effort, a radical new approach to reef restoration was undertaken: Mineral Accretion literally grows reefs. This unique reef system is the brain child of scientists Professor Wolf Hilbertz and Doctor Thomas Goreau.

Artificial reef construction by means of mineral accretion, also known as third generation artificial reef systems, is a novel technology which uses electricity to grow limestone rock on artificial frames and increase growth rates of corals and other reef organisms. These resulting coral and fish nurseries have reestablished a devastated marine ecosystem in a very short time.

Two NGOs (Yayasan Karang Lestari Pemuteran and Global Reef Alliance) are responsible for this project. They are dynamic and complementary in their synergy.

The award-winning community-based coral restoration project in Pemuteran Bali is becoming one of the world’s major educational and experimental facilities to further coral reef regeneration, coastal protection and socialization of sustainable management of coral reefs ecosystems for conservation and tourism development.


Gili Mantra Maring Natural Rec Park


Not many people Know that the three Gili Islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air are actually located in a protected marine park called Gili Matra Marine Natural recreation Park.

The Gili Matra Marine Natural Recreation Park was established on 16 February 1993 and has a total area of approximately 3000 hectares, consisting of the 3 islands, Gili Meno (± 150 hectares), Gili Air (± 175 hectares), Gili Trawangan (± 340 hectares), and ± 2,289 hectares of marine area.

In 1993, the area surrounding the 3 Gilis was designated a recreation park under the Minister of Forestry Decree Number 85/Kpts-II/1993, dated 16 February 1993, based on the proposal of the Governor of West Nusa Tenggara Province.

The Management Objectives are:

The management of Gili Matra is based on Act Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Resources and their Ecosystems. Therefore, the aim of the management of this Park is to protect the Park and its ecosystems, and also to utilize it in a sustainable way of the parks natural resources. The resources should be used for research, science, education, recreation and tourism purposes.The main objectives of the management of Gili Matra are outlined as follows:

The main objectives of the management of Gili Matra are firstly to promote sustainable use of the Park’s resources, and secondly To encourage and integrate local participation in park management to protect biological values of the park and to eliminate further disturbances or alteration of it’s natural habitats, to protect endangered and threatened wild animal species and their habitats, to maintain the locations designated for recreation and tourism development, to maintain sustainable use of commercial fish habitats, and to achieve compatible use and careful management of species’ and their habitats.

The Natural Resources Conservation Office is the Management Authority.

Their responsibility is to manage the 3 Gili islands and the Natural Resources Conservation Office of West Nusa Tenggara (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam, Nusa Tenggara Barat) under the Directorate of the Forest Protection And Nature Conservation (DG of PHPA), Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia.

The Natural Resources Conservation Office Problems:

The actual problems in the Gili Matra Marine Natural Recreation Park were those faced directly such as fishing using bomb blasting and poisoning.

Anticipating the problems, sources of problems are first identified and then addressed. To do so, coordination among related institutions and parties is required since the problems cannot be managed by only a single agency such as West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Office.

Based on continual identification, the problem sources can be grouped into management intensity, social-economic conditions of the local communities, and the awareness of communities. However, the Park’s management ability is still limited. This is due to a lack of facilities, land a ack of expertise in marine ecology, limited human resources both in quality and quantity, and lack of technical guidance.

Many related institutions and parties are not really aware of the designation of Gili as a Marine Park. Therefore, some conflicts between biodiversity conservation efforts and other development activities still exist. Thus, the benefits from Park management are not easily observed.

We are pleased to inform that fish blasting and poisoning has been stopped since the year 2000, and many reefs have recovered substantially as has the fish population.

Other problems include muro-ami fishing. This method is very destructive to coral reefs, therefore West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Office in collaboration with Taskforce Gili Patrols, must patrol and inform users not to engage in this sort of fishing, especially in the conservation area.

In July 2002, Taskforce Gili Patrols and West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Office caught a group of muro-ami users. This case was solved using awiq-awiq, a law based on local customs. Fortunately, blasting and poisoning of fish and other marine species has not been observed and stopped since August 2000.

Transplanting corals around Gili Matra Marine Natural Recreation Park and successful Management.

1. Establishing a designated management plan for the years 1998 – 2008.

2. Zoning for the protection of the park, and watching exploited zones.

3. Education of the Youth Conservation Group. This group then forms a Youth Front Foundation of  Taskforce Gili Patrols.

4. Joint protection operation between West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Office, Police, and Community (Taskforce Gili Patrols) in 2000 has succeeded to catch fish bombers that were sentenced to 9 months in jail.

5. Implementation of the agreement with coastal community in Northern West Lombok, which was signed by the Head Of the Village and the Head of the Tanjung District, Gangga District, and the Head of the Pemenang District for:

* The establishment of the Foundation of Fisherman Community Organization in Northern West Lombok to help the implementation of coastal security activities by Taskforce Gili Patrols.

* Building and implementing the traditional rules, “awiq-awiq,” which was implemented since 19 March 2000.

(The maximum penalty is a fine of Rp. 10,000,000. There have been 6 cases recorded: bombing, 2 poisoning, and use of muro-ami. The sum of the collected fines was Rp. 25,500,000.)

* The sea and coastal security activities is done by the community, funded by NGO’s, with awiq-awiq penalties, including activities such as:

+ Conducting daily patrols.
+ Installing Park border signs.
+ Supporting infrastructure for coastal security activities.
+ Helping on community awareness and sustainable use of marine resources
+ When patrols arrest someone, the system of penalties is as follows: Firstly, awiq-awiq system. The sanction will be a penalty or a property seizure and signing a statement not to repeat the offence. Secondly, processing by law to conduct a further investigation by the police, and then bringing the case to court.

  6. Installing mooring buoys in Gili Meno, Gili Air, and Gili Trawangan, 10 units each.(This is now many many more)

   7. Sea turtle conservation programs.

   8. Coral reefs inventory was conducted by the West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Office, in cooperation with Mataram University and NGO’s.

   9. Making audiovisual documentation in Gili, in cooperation with Diponegoro University, Mataram University, and West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources

Conservation Office.

  10. Establish environmental conservation groups in the Marine Park to clean organic and inorganic pollutants.

11. The development of buffer zone areas and coastal community building was done through coral rehabilitation using a transplantation system, conducted in cooperation with Taskforce Gili Patrols and West Nusa Tenggara Natural Resources Conservation Office.

Current Legislation and Further Needs:

There are many laws in Indonesia pertaining to conservation. Listed below are some that could apply to the management of the Gili Islands.

1. Act Number 9 of 1985 concerning Fisheries.

2. Act Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Resources and Their Ecosystems.

3. Government Regulation Number 68 of 1998 concerning Sanctuary Reserve and Nature Conservation Area.

   4. Sea and coastal management strategic plan 1998, Provincial Development Board (Bappeda) of West Nusa Tenggara Province.

5. Policy and strategy on coral reefs management in Indonesia, 2000.

   6. Decree Head of Provincial Development Board of West Nusa Tenggara Province Number 5 of 1998 concerning Provincial Task Force Building in the Implementation of Coral Reefs Management and Rehabilitation Activity in West Nusa Tenggara Province.

7. Governor instruction Number 2 of 1998 concerning Prohibition of Coral Reefs Mining.

8. Governor Decree Number 141 of 2000 concerning Local Communication Forum Building in West Nusa Tenggara.

9. The “Awiq-Awiq” (traditional rules) of fisherman community of Northern West Lombok in March 2000, is a coastal community agreement in Northern West Lombok on sanction toward people who destroy marine resources, signed by Village and Sub District Officers.

The future efforts to increase the quality of marine resources in the context of community welfare through tourism are:

   1. Capacity building by training and education.

2. Supply of supporting infrastructure for officers in Gili.

3. Publicising the zoning scheme in the Gilis in order to conserve marine resources.

4. Strengthen coordination amongst stakeholders.

5. Technical and non-technical cooperation with domestic and international NGO’s.

In order to implement those efforts, it is necessary to obtain:

1. More support from local government, other agencies, and local community.

2. Support from central government to strengthen relationships with international NGO’s.

Strategy and Program

A conservation strategy for Gili was developed by considering groups of problem sources, the Park’s potential values, regulations, as well as environmental and socio-economic conditions of the surrounding communities. The strategies developed are:

* Promoting management activities for the Park and its resources.

* Assisting local communities to find other sources of income.

* Increasing the awareness of local community.

* Strengthening coordination among related institution and parties.

Each strategy is being detailed in action programs as the basis of management activities to be implemented. A five-year action plan was established in the form of a Five Year Plan that was described and detailed an annual plan. The annual plan is used to propose to the government to obtain budget for technical cooperation with other institutions.

Action programs formulated may vary from year to year. However, the basic program remains the same. The action programs implemented are shown as follows:

* Conservation planning:

o Annual plan preparation
o Proposed program activities plan preparation

* Monitoring and inventory:

o Coral reefs monitoring and inventory
o Database development and management

* Biodiversity management and safeguarding:

o Hawksbill turtle semi-natural hatching development
o Artificial reefs establishment
o Integrated operation
o Regular patrolling
  * Data and information:

o Providing data on visitors, disturbances, and Park biodiversity
* Manpower management by training

* Facilities provision and maintenance:

o Provision of facilities and equipment
o Maintenance of facilities and equipment

   * Assisting local community development:

o Providing demonstration plots of marine flora and fauna, managed by local community

    * Promoting community awareness:

o Coordination meetings on planning and sustainable utilization
o Conservation education and extension
o Conservation exhibitions
o Information dissemination


The paper provides a brief overview of the present management status of the Gili Matra Marine Natural recreation Park.

Inputs based on experience from other marine parks will be adopted and integrated for better management at Gili. It is hoped that the experience of management from The Gili Matra Marine Natural Recreation Park may one day be useful for other marine protected areas.

With Thanks to Edi Djuharsa,
Natural Resources Conservation Office,
West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.


Breaking News, 26th January 2012


According to CI, as many as 100 sharks are captured and killed each day in the waters around Bali, primarily off the shore of Nusa Penida and Ahmed, near Karangasem.

Conservation International (CI) is urging the provincial government of Bali to outlaw the capture and harvesting of sharks, particularly long-tailed sharks for the harvesting of shark’s fins.

According to CI, as many as 100 sharks are captured and killed each day in the waters around Bali, primarily off the shore of Nusa Penida and Ahmed, near Karangasem.

Quoted by, a researcher from CI Indonesia, Mark Van Erdman, said on November 11, 2011 that the large-scale slaughter of sharks threatens the sustainability of the shark population. This is of particular concern in Bali, which is considered a breeding area for this species.

Van Erdman pointed our how 100 sharks harvested each day can have a massive impact on the potential tens of thousands of shark that come to Bali to breed the next generation of these sharks.

The CI researcher contends that sharks have a much higher value as a sustainable object of tourism attraction that far outweighs amy commercial value obtained from killing the fish for their edible fins. Using the example of turtles to make his point, Van Erdman said how a turtle is estimated to have a “tourism” attraction value of US$179,000 during its lifetime, but if caught, slaughtered and sold will only fetch US$274 from the transaction.

Tourists can help preserve the shark population, seen as critical to the ocean’s food chain, by urging restaurants that sell sharks fins to seek other sources of income, and refusing to patronize such business if over time they continue to sell sharks fin.

Attributed to

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  13. admin says:

    The 8th Indonesian Biorock®Training Workshop 2012

    The Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA), Founded in 1990, is a small, non-profit organization dedicated to growing, protecting and managing the most threatened of all marine ecosystems—coral reefs.

    GCRA is a coalition of volunteer scientists, divers, environmentalists and other individuals and organizations, committed to coral reef preservation. We primarily focus on coral reef restoration, marine diseases and other issues caused by global climate change, environmental stress and pollution.

    We employ a method which allows reefs to survive and recover from damage caused by excessive nutrients, climate change, and physical destruction. The mineral accretion, or the Biorock® Process, is owned by Biorock®, Inc. and is licensed to GCRA. This technology has been successfully applied to fish and shellfish mariculture as well as to growing limestone breakwaters to protect islands and coastal areas from erosion and rising sea levels. Coral reefs built with the Biorock process are now growing in Maldives, Seychelles, Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Panama and, in one of the most remote and unexplored reef areas of the world, Saya de Malha Banks in the Indian Ocean.

    Have a look at this Facebook video from Biorock® Indonesia

    The event will be held in Novemeber with exact dates to be released.

    GCRA scientists work with foundations, governments or private firms to build, restore and maintain coral reefs, nurseries and marine sanctuaries. Projects include restoration and construction of coral reefs for mariculture and tourism as well as breakwaters for shore protection.

    The Biorock® Process or mineral accretion is a technology used to grow structures and marine ecosystems in seawater.

    It provides a cost-effective and sustainable method to accelerate coral growth and increase coral survival particularly in areas where environmental stress has affected existing reefs. Biorock® methods can help restore damaged coral reefs and provide building materials from sustainable energy resources for mariculture of corals, oysters, clams, lobsters and fish. When mixed with aggregates, “Biorock® Materials”, (accreted minerals) can be used as building components on the sea bottom or on land, especially to design and build wave breakers.
    Biorock® is holding a convention on Gili Trawangan on the 12th-18th November 2012,

    here is a little from their wesite;

    The 2012 Biorock training workshop brings professional coral restoration experts and lecturers into the classroom to engage participants in all aspects of coral reef restoration using the definitive Biorock method.
    Workshop sessions will cover all aspects of theory and practice including design, construction, installation, monitoring, maintenance and repair of Biorock sites. Additional lectures will cover the basic principles of coral reef ecology, threats to coral reefs, and environmental restoration.
    Over the course of the 7 day workshop participants will have the opportunity to use their knowledge as they plan and invoke all the steps involved in constructing, deploying and populating Biorock structures with coral fragments.

    Who Should Attend?
    Dive shop operators, hotel and resort managers, conservation groups, coastal zone managers, fishing communities, marine scientists, mariculturists, tourism agencies, seascape and landscape architects, engineers, artists, government fisheries, environmental, and tourism policy makers, and others who seek the training necessary to design,construct and operate their own Biorock structures for reef restoration, erosion control, tourism, mariculture, remediation or marine science.

    Since hands-on in the water instruction is part of the workshop program, although it is not necessary, we recommend that participants interested in that portion be experienced, certified divers.We anticipate attendance from Indonesia, many Asian countries and from around the world, making this workshop a unique experience for participants to learn from one another about coral reef problems and solutions.

    Many thanks to the Global Coral Reef Alliance & The Gili Eco Trust for their relentless hard work.

  14. Philip says:

    Gili Eco Trust Update

    We have planted 1,500 trees (maybe more) the last 2 months and I wanted to say thank you very much for your help and contribution to Green Gili Trawangan.

    We have now few Vetiver grass sites to prevent erosion.
    We are now starting to grow Neem trees and other trees from Lombok which are good against mosquitos and flies.

    The island is not free of plastic yet (I wish it was but education takes time). Please remember to reuse your plastic bag or to ask me for some reusable bags for your staff, your guests or yourself.

    They are free and by spreading them out, people are happy to give a good example and to donate to the Gili Eco Trust as they have something in return of their donation.

    We will educate people but if you contribute too by giving a good example, it makes everything easier.

    We are pushing people to clean the football pitch before the game. We have just put new rubbish bins there. it is difficult as they do not know why plastic is bad for Nature and they do not care as it is not their land but a public place.

    with repetition and education, we will make the difference, do not give up, it is a long process.

    We have also bought new rubbish bins for the harbor area. We want to paint them first with clear educational messages and then we will bring them to the harbor area. Please if you are happy to look after these bins, let me know (such as fast boat company), so I can also paint your logo or name on it, thanks.

    Tomorrow, we will clean the village from 7.30 am around the school area, behind Blue Marlin and around.
    Meet us there if you want to help for half an hour or more.

    Get some good karma for the rest of the day as you have done your bit and cleaned a part of the island.

    Next week we will put more protection on our baby trees. We have just ordered more bambou cages but they wont be ready for tomorrow so next friday and the following weeks, we will carry on.

    If you have any suggestions, ideas or solutions for these problems or other eco problems, please let us know.

    Call me for a meeting and we can have a chat about anything concerning the protection and conservation of our environment.

    Thank you
    take care
    Go Green and Clean

    Phil on behalf of the Gili Eco Trust

    To contact us with ideas or donations please email to

    Thanks for everyones support.

  15. phil says:

    BioRock ® update November 2011.

    This year’s Biorock ® Workshop was a great success for Gili Trawangan, thanks to the generous support of the Gili Eco Trust and the entire Gili Trawangan community.

    The 7th Indonesian Biorock ® Coral Reef Restoration, Fisheries Habitat Restoration and Shore Protection Training Workshop was held on Gili Trawangan, Lombok, from 15-21 November 2010.

    The Vice Governor of Lombok opened the workshop, along with Pak Agung Prana, Balinese ecotourism pioneer. The Governor sent the head of the Regional Planning Agency, (BAPEDA), to discuss future developments as well as the Bupati (Regent) from North Lombok.

    More than 80 people participated in the Workshop, including a wide range of divers, students, conservationists, scientists, engineers, artists, doctors, and lawyers.

    The majority of participants were from Indonesia and included more than 20 students in Marine Science, Biology, and Forestry from Mataram University in Lombok, all of whom were trained as divers for the workshop and are planning Biorock related research projects.

    Indonesian people from Gili Trawangan came along to learn about the technology they have seen being installed around their island for the past 5 years: people from the Youth Association “Remaja Karang Taruna”, teachers from the local primary school, SATGAS (ocean security), students and teachers from the Gili Trawangan high school of tourism and the Kadus and Kades (Heads of the village and of the three Gili islands).

    Besides Indonesia, participants came from many parts of Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Kuwait, State of Qatar, China, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

    Students learned all aspects of Biorock® Technology theory and practice, including the fundamental physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, and biology; along with hands-on training in design, construction, installation, monitoring, maintenance, and repair. They saw documentary films and heard lectures on the latest developments in marine ecosystem restoration.

    More than 16 new Biorock ® reefs were designed, built, installed, and planted with corals by the students, bringing the total of Biorock reefs at Gili Trawangan up to nearly 60. These are located in front of every dive shop and many of the restaurants and hotels in Indonesia’s major dive attraction. The projects at Gili Trawangan now rival the Karang Lestari Biorock project in Pemuteran, Bali as the world’s largest and most spectacularly successful coral reef restoration project.

    The Biorock® method was invented, developed and patented by the late Proffessor Wolf Hilbertz and Dr Thomas Goreau and uses low voltage electrical currents to grow solid limestone minerals on conductive surfaces.

    The method being used in the Gilis involves welded steel frames submerged at varying depths in the ocean, through which a small electrical charge is run, generating mineral growth on the frames. These solid surfaces then become the framework, or artificial reefs, on which corals can anchor and grow into proper reefs.

    Biorock ® is the only method that increases coral growth rate and resistance to environmental stress, so Biorock ® reef corals bleach less, recover faster, and have higher survival rates from global warming-caused by rising water temperatures. This course came at a very critical juncture, because 2010 has been the hottest year in history, and severe coral bleaching took place across the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, the West Pacific, the Persian Gulf, and the Caribbean this year, and including Lombok.

    Water temperatures throughout Indonesia, and many of the most important coral reefs in the world now remain several degrees warmer than average, and will start to bleach in the next few months if this weather pattern continues. If it is as severe as is expected, only places with Biorock Coral Arks will have much coral, fish, and beaches left, afterwards.

    Biorock ® graduates are now trained to restore coral reefs and fisheries, and reclaim severely eroding beaches. They can apply these skills as soon as local communities, government policy makers, and international funding agencies recognize the critically urgent need to restore rapidly vanishing coral reefs and the fisheries, create shore protection, and protect tourism, and the biodiversity services they provide to over 100 countries, before they vanish.

    Only those with proper Biorock ® training have the knowledge and skills to implement new projects, and will receive full support with advice, advanced training, and the materials needed to start new projects designed to save marine ecosystems from the runaway effects of global warming, global rising sea levels, and unsustainable over-exploitation of the world’s coral reefs.

    The Gili Eco Trust, with the support of the business community on Gili Trawangan and local government agencies, shows how westerners and local communities can work together to preserve and rehabilitate the coral reefs around the Gili islands; leading to a sustainable future for everyone.
    For information on other Gili Eco Trust projects, or to make a donation, visit –

  16. Simon says:

    The Gili Eco Trust

    Next Clean Up Daywill be on the 9th of October: be ready to register and clean Trawangan island with the local kids from the school as well as with the support of SATGAS, Janur Indah, FMPL and many more residsents and businesses who care!

    if you are a diver, get a free dive to collect marine debris and record your datas to PADI Project Aware. at the end of the day, we will meet up all together for a nice meal and party in Sama-Sama bar and Bungalows.

    The Gili Eco Trust was set up in 2002 to support local efforts from SATGAS (local security) to protect the Gili islands. The seven dive centres of Gili Trawangan reached an agreement with a local organization and began collecting a small fee from each diver. The Eco Trust then established a cutting-edge reef restoration program.

    The BioRock projects
    that lie directly off the beaches on the east of the island are artificial structures that stimulate coral growth with the use of a small electric current. The Gili islands are now home to twenty-one BioRock structures. Ask at your dive center for more information on this pioneering project.

    Through the Gili Eco Trust, each diver continues to help to conserve our recovering marine environment; Eco Trust money supports local fishermen to enable them to fish further a field, taking pressure off the immediate area. As you dive or snorkel through the waters around these islands, you will see the evidence of marine populations recovering.

    The Gili Eco Trust is currently expanding its programs. New directions include education and awareness initiatives, as well as projects that will help the local community to realise a sustainable future despite the pressure of increased visitor numbers. We are working to ensure that these islands will be able to support their communities while attracting international visitors for years to come. While your financial backing is vital in enabling us to continue our work, your behavior in terms of your impact on the island is even more important. On land please make sure that you use the bins provided for all your rubbish (including your cigarette ends!) and on your dives please be careful of where you are putting your fins and fingers. Remember that marine life is there to be observed and admired, not hassled or collected!

    As you enjoy your time here, we ask you to be aware of how delicate this ecosystem is. Help us to ensure that future generations have this same privileged opportunity….

  17. Lucio says:


    BE A ROLE MODEL: set a good example in your own interactions with the environment and other people will follow suit.

    DO NOT THROW ANYTHING IN THE TOILET: Due to the septic system, non-organic waste will fill the septic tanks causing grey water to flow into the land and sea. This will increase pollution and kill our fragile underwater eco-system.

    REFILL YOUR’E WATER BOTTLE: contribute to the waste management and help us recycle plastic by re-using your water bottle with a refill. It will also save you money and is an easy way to be green !

    SAVE WATER: turn the water off when you are not using it, we live on a small island with very limited fresh water, so please be conservative.

    SWITCH OFF AC, FAN, LIGHTS WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR ROOM: the electricity comes from petrol generators on the Gili islands. Do not waste the energy as the island can barely cope already.

    THROW RUBBISH IN THE BINS PROVIDED: encourage responsible behaviour by walking a few extra steps to collect rubbish and throw it in a bin.

    DO NOT COLLECT SEA SHELLS FROM THE OCEAN OR THE BEACH: they are live animals and taking them out of their environment will kill them. Hermit crabs will look for new and bigger sea shells from the beach as they grow up, collecting sea shell will leave the hermit crab homeless.

    DO NOT TOUCH OR WALK ON THE REEF: coral and other animals are very fragile organisms and grow very slowly. Interacting with the ocean ecosystem will damage it. Please respect their space and only watch from a distance.

    REPORT ENVIRONMENTAL DISTURBANCE OR DESTRUCTION: touching aquatic life, walking on reefs, anchoring, and throwing plastic are usually done in ignorance. Help these people to understand that their behaviour is not eco-appropriate by explaining how we can respect and look after our environment.

    GET INVOLVED IN LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES AND ISSUES: You may feel you can’t save the world, but you can have a great impact on the corner of the planet in which you live or spend your holidays. There are plenty of opportunities to show your support for a clean environment, including local beach cleanups, good eco role model behaviour, education of local people about rubbish and plastic, and supporting ecological activities with your energy or money……

  18. Rina says:

    Gili Eco Trust update January 2009

    The thousand odd people living within this Indonesian territory of Gili Trawangan near Lombok recognise their growing economic needs, want to grow tourism in a bigger way to meet those needs, and yet take personal responsibility in protecting their environment.

    Over the past decade, they have seen a drop in the number of fishes in the sea. Fishermen had been throwing handmade bombs into the waters as a quick way of getting seafood to feed its own people. Our coral reefs have been badly hit as a result of the use of bombs in fishing and we realized that when reefs disappeared, so did the fish, said Pak Malek, head of the Gili Eco Trustat the opening ceremony of the 6th Biorock Workshop on Gili Trawangan from 1-7 December 2008.

    But this destructive fishing is not practised anymore since we have established a marine park area (MPA) here working with the Lombok marine conservation office Kelesterian Laut (KSDA), said Delphine Robbe, manager of the Gili EcoTrust. Our corals have also been destroyed by storms, anchor drops, overfishing and compressor spare gun fishing, she said, not to mention El Nino in 1997-1998 that caused bleaching.

    Knowing better now, the community has taken action. Delphine and her colleagues in the Gili Eco Trust have introduced a slew of measures. They have compensated fishermen for staying away from the MPA, installed mooring buoys, and promoted marine awareness in schools and dive shops. The Gili Eco Trust set up in 2001 by the seven Gili dive shops and a local organisation gather funds and resources to heighten marine awareness and conservation of the three Gili islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.

    A major initiative is to restore demolished underwater habitats by building new coral reefs using electric powered structures or Biorock with the help of the community itself.

    Community Leads, NGO Follows

    Gili Trawangan is a case study of how initiatives to make the environment a better place can come from within, and bottom up. The first Biorock trial installation took off on 20 November 2004 (source: at the invitation of long-time Bali resident Cody Schwaiko, and with funding from the Vila Ombak Diving Academy backed by community support.

    Dr Thomas J Goreau and the late Prof Wolf Hilbertz showed them how to build a steel structure in various shapes to create a new coral reef to bring back the fish “ and hence boost fishing livelihood “ and protect the shores from erosion. Coral reefs serve as natural hiding places for sea creatures from predators while helping themselves to lesser prey. A healthy ecosystem for butterfly fish, damsel fish, lion fish, sting rays, lobsters and even moray eels.

    Then as nobody could believe it was cheap and quite easy to make, my friends Laurent Lavoye, Foued Kaddachi and I built our structure in front of Trawangan with our own money and with guidance from Tom Goreau during the 3rd Biorock workshop in Pemuteran, Bali in November 2005, said Delphine.

    The following year, they organised 4th Biorock workshop in Gili Trawangan with the support of the Karang Lestari Foundation from Pemuteran, Bali, with 30 participants and TV crew from ARTE. During this workshop we built 10 more structures, said Delphine.

    Two years later, the hands-on 6th Biorock workshop in December 2008 was held in Gili Trawangan again organised by Gili Eco Trust and Global Coral Reef Alliance with the support of PADI and local businesses such as dive shops, restaurants and hotels. We built 15 mores structures, 5 in the north and 10 in front of the village, said the workshop organiser Delphine, bringing the total number of structures surrounding Gili Trawangan to 28.

    The latest Biorock workshop on designing, building and maintaining coral reef structures was conducted by Tom Goreau. The 52 participants remained glued through the lectures that ranged from the history of coral formation to factors for restoration success to the scientific basis of coral growth due to electrolytic reaction. Staying a week on the island to learn all about Biorock and acquire building skills were Makassar University students, foreign marine biologists, dive instructors from Argentina, Sabah and Australia, resort/dive shop operators and teachers.

    As an observer, I got all dirty and wet too. I tied the structures on land, dived underwater, collected broken corals from the seabed and transplanted them to the structure underwater, fighting against sea currents and running low on air very quickly. It is hard work too, carrying heavy steel structures from the shore on to the boat, then lowering them into the water before proceeding to dive in for coral transplantation. While I discovered with glee new muscles emerging on my arms, I also basked in seeing healthy coral growth on the older structures, they were already natural habitats for the underwater creatures to live, mate and reproduce.

    And all because of a bottom up approach, with the islanders taking the lead. At the workshop, Tom urged participants not to forget community-based resources as the most important success factor in establishing a long-term marine restoration project. The local people know the issues and want to restore the situation – they just need the tools and money. Because their hope is to keep the environment for their future generations, he said.

    Tom highlighted the traditional top down approach with NGOs pushing their agenda on communities resulting in formation of marine protected area (MPA) and police state imposition do not tackle the root cause of coral reef degradation. Without large-scale restoration of habitat quality the fishery decline will continue even in the well-managed and funded MPAs, said Tom, adding, It just does not work.

    We need grassroots democracy, said Tom.
    With grassroots support and long-term commitment, the building of new reefs paves the way for restoration. Political will is first of all needed at the local level backed by historical knowledge and documentation of how the reefs used to be. The strategy is to accept the fact that the corals that we have are damaged and decide what to do about them. Technology then can serve that role if we apply it on a large scale, he said. Community-based fishery management using Biorock is presently ongoing in the Philippines and Thailand as well.

    Agreeing, Badrul Munir, MM, Vice governor of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) talks of the urgent need to escalate the projects with greater community involvement. We need to grow new coral reefs not just around Gili Trawangan, but the 100 and more islands around here, he said. Only then can we get our fish back, said the local leader.
    The government of Lombok recognises that the problem of bad fishing practices that led to beach erosion as well. We take this very seriously and have established a monitoring system daily, said Malek. When anyone spots someone throwing a bomb in, we alert the enforcement team.

    This enforcement is not the police however; they are villagers who have assigned themselves with such a role. In fact, at Gili Trawangan, there is no police station or police officers. Crime is dealt the way it used to be when time began public flogging and shaming. We used to slash their faces with knives and rub salt on them, then soak them in the seawater until they beg for mercy and repent, said Ahyar Rosidi, manager of Pondok Lita where I stayed. Now we just whack them with our hands and drag them around for all to see so that they will be more careful with this person when he comes around.
    Taking ownership of the island as their own home is perhaps why the crime rate in this island is low, the pathways are free of litter, public facilities are well maintained, and businesses chip in to contribute to the upkeep of the tourism standards including starting a tourism school for youths.

    Gili Trawangan Tourism School
    The new tourism school set up in 2008 hopes to build essential skills and training of the local community to meet the fast growing tourism industry on this island alone. We want to make sure they also have good jobs like receptionists, accountants, serving staff at restaurants and dive shop assistants and earn good pay, said Delphine, who also manages Big Bubble Dive centre.

    Having a job and earning money means that the poor can thrive. It could also mean that the noticeable drug pushing when night falls is stamped out. Our village elders find it hard to prevent the youths from peddling weed because they seem not to have alternative jobs, said Rosidi, adding that he wishes for more businesses to be set up on the island to create employment and boost the economy.

    The tourism school, however, lacks funds and is crippled by the lack of dedicated facilities. The 30 students who enrolled into the two- and three-year programe this year share the same compound as high school kids. According to Rosidi, only 15% of the funds come from the government under the Lombok municipality; the rest is contributed by the 70 businesses operating in the island (each giving USD4-50 a month) and from well-wishers.

    We need more money so we can buy books, computers and sponsor more people studying tourism, explains Delphine. Her dive shop sells postcards, pledging 25% of sales proceeds to the tourism school fund. According to Rosidi, donations such as textbooks, plain writing books and pens will also come in handy.

    Visitors making a trip to the island can contact us to find out how they can contribute to the island’s ecotourism needs and skills training.

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