Gili Eco Trust is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) that was created in 2010 with a mission to protect the coral reefs around the Gili Islands in Indonesia from destructive fishing practices. It is based in Gili Trawangan and is also known as Yayasan Ekosistem Gili Indah. Here are links to their Website and Facebook Page. There used to be a lot of cyanide and dynamite fishing which is both destructive for the corals and the coral reef ecosystem. After a terrible El Niño event in 1997-1998, an agreement was soon established between the fisherman to end the destructive fishing practices.
The mission of the NGO is to create a sustainable island as well as “to promote ecotourism and provide a healthy environment for working animals. To restore our coral reefs and to replenish our natural fish populations. To ensure that all waste created on Gili T is reduced to minimum levels and managed and separated properly for recycling projects where materials can be transported off the island.”
In addition, they have several goals:
- Restore and protect the coral reefs around the Gili islands by building more Biorock structures*, installing moorings to prevent further anchor damage and provide education and marine workshops.
- Prevent and manage waste and rubbish on Gili Trawangan by recycling and educating both locals and tourists.
- Clean up Gili Trawangan by organizing weekly beach clean-ups and island clean-up days.
- Reducing the amount of plastic on the island by motivating businesses to provide water refill stations and get locals and tourists to stop buying bottled water, and encouraging the ban of plastic bags.
- A structure that creates artificial coral reefs through building a steel frame and putting a low voltage of direct current through in the ocean, that slowly grows into a coral reef.
As an organisation, Gili Eco Trust’s projects encompass a wide variety of conservation efforts, ranging from our highly successful “Biorock” program, which provides long-term, sustainable structures to support coral growth in the reefs surrounding Gili. By running an electrical current through the steel structure (which acts as an exoskeleton for coral), the growth of coral life is stimulated, thus fighting the damage which has been wrought upon the coral surrounding Gili in recent years.
We are also involved in various campaigns, both on and off-campus, to raise awareness on the many environmental issues that threaten the rich marine biodiversity around Gili. Our goals tie closely with the 14th Sustainable Development Goals established by UN; Life Under Water and our responsibility to protect it.
Our major events are Family Festival (a big bazaar each year in March at UWCSEA with carnival-themed activities, stalls and food) and Swimdonesia (a joint event with two other GCs to raise money through water activities, food, stalls and a Swim for Life event where swimmers swim a determined amount of length raising money through sponsors).