Two local dive instructors, Andrew Taylor and Cody Macdonald, have this month completed their Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer certification. They join an elite group of approximately 15 EcoDiver Trainers in Indonesia.
Delivered by Bali-based NGO Reef Check Foundation Indonesia, the training certifies the instructors to deliver the accredited EcoDiver training to others, so that they can take part in Reef Check’s global coral surveys.
Chairman of Reef Check Foundation Indonesia, Jensi Sartin said surveying the condition of reefs is a key way to monitor the effects of climate change and human-caused damage to reefs.
“Becoming an EcoDiver is a great way to take an active part in preserving the world’s coral reefs. Anyone who can snorkel or dive can do the two day training course and join the community of hundreds of other EcoDivers around Indonesia,” said Jensi.
“The EcoDiver training is great fun and includes classroom, dry session and a snorkel or dive. You will learn how to identify reef health indicators in fish, invertebrates and substrates.”
Andrew and Cody are dive instructors who co-founded the Blue Corner Dive Centre on Nusa Lembongan, a small island just off the coast of south east mainland Bali.
Jensi said that having more EcoDiver trainers is a one way in which dive centers can assist to protect Indonesia’s reefs.
“If we have more trainers then we can train more people. If we have more EcoDivers we’ll be able to do more surveys and collect more data about which areas and species are particularly vulnerable and need help.”
“Reef Check is working with Indonesia communities on lots of projects, but working with dive centers is really important to us.Dive instructors spend a lot of time interacting with the reef, and they are in the privileged position of being able to teach new divers about how to look after coral and minimize their impact on it.”
“It’s really great to have this Blue Corner Dive Centre become a local champion and motivate other businesses to also get involved in protecting the local reefs so we can enjoy them into the future.”
The center is now a certified Reef Check Facility – meaning it is acknowledged as being able to conducts reef check surveys and EcoDiver certification. There are only about a dozen Reef Check facilities in Indonesia.
“We really encourage other dive centers to join us in this voluntary movement. A lot of tourists are concerned about being ‘clean and green’ so becoming a certified EcoDiver trainer can give you a great advantage over your competitors and the costs associated are minimal.”
“While it might not be possible to save all of Indonesia’s reefs, if we can unite and do what we can, we have the power to create big changes and preserve many of our reefs into the future.”
Written by Jenny willis for Reef Check Indonesia.