Bawah Reserve, a pristine private island paradise in Indonesia founded on the pillars of conservation stewardship and eco-conscious mindfulness, is thrilled to introduce the Bawah Anambas Foundation. The Bawah Anambas Foundation (BAF) is an independent foundation established with the support from Bawah Reserve as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), to help conserve and expand the biodiversity in the Anambas Islands through marine conservation programs aimed at protecting corals, turtles, and managing the fish stock on the surrounding barrier reef and implement land-based conservation programs, as well as uplift the communities’ welfare.
The six private-island retreat with 35 luxurious beach suites and overwater bungalows surrounded by crystal clear lagoons, opened its doors in early 2018 offering guests access to a previously uninhabited marine conservation area in the form of true barefoot luxury. With each element, detail, and decision thoughtfully executed to coexist within the island, the foundation serves as an extension to the resort and will be an integral part of the guest experience and the future development of the islands. Bawah Reserve supports the foundation through its CSR in activating Above, Below and Beyond programs to tackle three existing development challenges in the Anambas: Forest Conservation, Marine Conservation and Community Development.
“When we built Bawah Reserve, it was very important that we followed a sustainable operational plan and that we simultaneously give back to the local community, the land and the sea,” said Tim Hartnoll, owner of Bawah Reserve.
Jerry Winata, Head of the Foundation, joined to set the priorities for the foundation, identify the main challenges in the archipelago and to implement a series of programs to address the key development challenges. Winata traveled around the Anambas and spent time in several villages to gain a deeper understanding of the day-to-day life and challenges faced by the local communities. In this role, Winata is working closely with the local Anambas government as well as various stakeholders including NGOs, academic and research institutions, other private sector entities with the same ethos and objectives, and with the communities themselves.
The foundation has started to implement a number of programs to tackle the archipelago’s main challenges including access to resources, overfishing and the local villagers’ reliability on the ocean. The programs educate the communities of the Anambas on new farming techniques and provide them with the tools and knowledge to begin growing organic farms, limit their dependency on the ocean and to allow the coral reef to restore itself. Coral reef protection and restoration is another key initiative led by the foundation and involves educating and training the communities to do coral monitoring and surveying, as well as actively re-growing and transplanting coral. Guests at Bawah Reserve will have the opportunity to get involved and see the conservation efforts taking place – whether through a diving excursion to see the coral nursery guided by a resident marine biologist, an educational evening class to learn about the surrounding flora and fauna, or the opportunity to adopt a coral by taking an active part in replanting.
With tourism growth in the Anambas, the foundation recognizes the importance of enhancing English education for employment opportunities. A Digital English Club has been implemented in the poorest region furthest from the capital. This village, Kiabu, is on a very remote island with 4G coverage. The program uses the internet connection to provide free English lessons through Skype led by teachers around the world. The Anambas Foundation has partnered with SQULINE, an Indonesian startup, to provide the necessary tools and learning materials for this program including laptops and tablets.
In 2018, Bawah Reserve already committed over US $300,000 to support the Bawah Anambas Foundation and implement Above, Below and Beyond programs. At the 2018 Our Ocean Conference, the BAF submitted its commitment to support the government of Indonesia’s goal to reduce marine pollution and improve the management of Marine Park Areas (MPA). Supported by Bawah Reserve, BAF committed close to US $470,000 by end of 2019 to execute the programs. Bawah Reserve recognizes its responsibility to positively contribute to the communities in the surrounding Anambas through employment and economic opportunities in addition to sustainable eco-awareness education. Through the Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and the foundation, Bawah Reserve commits to restore and protect the Anambas ecosystem and community from economic, cultural, and environmental exploitation.
For more information on Bawah Reserve, please visit www.bawahreserve.com