Raja Ampat Environment Watch

Raja Ampat Environment Watch is a crowd-sourcing solution to help protect Raja Ampat’s beautiful and fragile marine and terrestrial environments.

Go to Raja Ampat Environment Watch

Make a Raja Ampat Environment Watch report

View Raja Ampat Environment Watch reports

Sign up to receive Raja Ampat Environment Watch reports

The Raja Ampat archipelago and its Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are huge, and the organisations tasked with their protection don’t have the resources to ensure 100% monitoring coverage.

Raja Ampat Environment Watch makes it possible for everyone to help. Please feel free to share, publicise and link to it. The more Watchers, the better!

Have you witnessed events or conditions in Raja Ampat that gave you cause for concern and wished you knew who to report to?

Raja Ampat Environment Watch will forward your (anonymised) report to the appropriate Raja Ampat government body and/or local organisation for action.

Along with a description of the event or issue you have witnessed, you can upload GPS coordinates and photos and link to externally hosted videos to provide the information needed by local authorities and stakeholders to appropriately respond to your concerns.

Originally developed to provide a way for local communities and visitors to report instances of illegal activity and environmental damage in Raja Ampat’s MPAs, the application can be used to report environmental concerns of any nature, at sea or on land and from any cause.

Anyone can make reports and any interested individual or organisation can sign up to receive reports as they are logged by the application.

Although designed primarily for the reporting of environmental concerns, you are also welcome to report any other location-specific incident or news relevant to Raja Ampat. Don’t forget too, that positive environmental observations or events are also welcome!

While not mandatory, we encourage you to at least supply an email address so we can contact you in the event that responding organisations need more information.

Names and email addresses will never be published, will be held in strict confidence and are secured by SSL technology. We will never provide any identifying information to a third party without your written permission.

In addition to the linked web application, iOS and Android Ushahidi apps are available for download. The mobile apps make it possible to create and save on the spot reports in areas without internet coverage. Those reports can then uploaded to the Raja Ampat Environment Watch server when your mobile device is next online. See the Ushahidi app configuration guidelines at the bottom of this page for more.

About making Raja Ampat Environment Watch reports

Report Location: As Raja Ampat is such a vast area, GPS coordinates are essential to provide responders with accurate location information. Please always include accurate GPS coordinates if possible. If you don’t have the ability to log GPS coordinates, zoom in on the report page map, place the marker as accurately as you can and provide extra location information in your description. (Location setting is automatic when reporting from a mobile app that has its location setting turned on.)

Report date and time: Please always set your report date and time to that of the event you’re reporting. (Or just include that info in the details and we’ll set it for you.)

Photos/Video: Photos are proof positive of your report details – please always include them! You can also provide a link to video uploaded to platforms such as YouTube. (Vimeo is not recommended as it is blocked by Indonesian internet filters.)

Description/Details: Please always provide as much detailed information as possible in your reports. For example, if reporting activity of concern by boats, describe exactly what you witnessed and do your best to provide the boat’s name and/or identifying number. Photos that allow identification of boat crew could be supplied if there’s no other means of identification, but please don’t ever place yourself at risk in order to obtain photos or video for reports.

Privacy: With the exception of the “Optional Information” field on the report submission page, all details and uploaded images submitted there will be published, so don’t include any content in those that you don’t want made public. Personal “Optional Information” is the only data that will always remain strictly private.

Confidential Reports: If you want to file a completely confidential report, please do so by either emailing us or by including NOT FOR PUBLICATION in your report details. (All reports are held for review before publishing.)

About signing up to receive Raja Ampat Environment Watch reports

If you want to receive all new reports as they are published, all you need to do is:

1. Enter the email address you want reports sent to, then click “Save My Alert”

2. Click the link provided in the confirmation email sent to your email address.

If you want to receive specific reports only, select the categories you want to receive reports for prior to clicking “Save My Alert”.

You can cancel your alerts at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link contained in each alert email.

About the mobile apps

The mobile apps linked above are provided by Ushahidi, the developers of the open source platform that Raja Ampat Environment Watch is built on. We don’t provide support for the Ushahidi apps, but here’s a quick walkthrough of how to set up them up for use with Raja Ampat Environment Watch.

1. Install and open the app, then wait for the splash screen to disappear.

2.1. Android: Tap “Maps” to open the menu, then tap “Add Map By URL”

2.2. iOS: Tap the + icon at bottom right to open the menu, then tap “Add Map By URL”

3. Enter the name and description you want, then enter the following URL > https://www.stayrajaampat.com/rawatch (EXACTLY like that – don’t leave out the “httpS or the www)

4. Tap OK.

4. Select the newly added map entry on your device to synchronise and load Raja Ampat Environment Watch.

Now… get out there and help keep Raja Ampat beautiful!

6 thoughts on “Raja Ampat Environment Watch

  1. Debra Naused Wateska says:

    So sorry to hear about the Caledonia ship that decimated your reef. Have you been able to form a volunteer diver effort to start rebuilding the reef yet? This was done in Grand Cayman Island when a Carnival Cruise ship dropped anchor in the wrong place and destroyed as large reef. It worked very well

    and divers that come to the island were able to lend a hand and have extended stays working on rebuilding the reef. Also 3D printers are being used now for rebuilding instead of concrete. One day my husband and I hope to visit and go diving on the beautiful reef. Good luck! 😊

    • Hi Debra

      The Caledonian Sky incident was sad indeed, but it’s an unfortunate fact that boat anchors and anchor chains do more damage to Raja Ampat’s reefs every year than the Caledonian Sky did. It’s just that anchor damage is much less visible.

      Despite rehabilitation experts offering their assistance, no rehabilitation work has been able to be done, because the government is fighting for financial compensation in the courts and doesn’t want the evidence “interfered with” in any way until their claim has been settled.

      Hope you get to dive one of Raja Ampat’s countless spectacular reefs one day :)

  2. Charlotte Meuleman says:

    Hi, we stayed in Raja Ampat in December (Mandarin Homestay, hi Kristian!!) and loved every minute of it. What a gorgeous area and such a friendly people.
    I would like to give you all a suggestion: Have a look at the website about ” starting your own little plastic recycling workshop”. Copy the following link: https://preciousplastic.com/en/
    The plastic recycling machines developed on this website are made of basic tools and materials you can find everywhere and they share all the blueprints to make them for free online. This way people around the world can build them. Check out all the videos and the blogs!
    Although it will not solve the complete plastic problem it can help to diminish it and it gives value to plastic waste. The locals can profit from it by making useful products or nice tourist gifts. Have a look at the website and judge yourselves!
    https://preciousplastic.com/en/

    • Hi Charlotte

      First, an apology for not responding to your comment for so long: We’re going to have to investigate why we didn’t receive a notification that you had posted it!

      Precious Plastic is a fabulous project and thank you so much for bringing it to our attention. It would be great to set up these facilities in Raja Ampat’s villages, but there are a number of hurdles to overcome before that could happen.

      The biggest one is funding. No community in the islands currently has the resources to purchase and import the necessary equipment. The next is skill training. Without adequate training in the construction, maintenance and expansion of the required equipment, even donated equipment would soon fall idle.

      While Raja Ampat communities have highly developed material design skills, they also lack the knowledge and experience required to apply those skills to create innovative uses of their own for PP’s technology The lack of English language and internet access also means that all the resources available on PP’s website to help with this are currently inaccessible to Raja Ampat communities.

      It’s such a great idea though, that we’re going to see what we can do to overcome these hurdles. It will probably take a few years, but the potential benefits are huge and well worth pursuing.

      Thanks again!

  3. Arriving in Waisai is a shock- lots and lots of rubbish. A very bad first impression.
    We all agree, but what could we do?
    Here is an idea : when you pay 1000 000 you reveive a bag for all your plastic and unburnable rubbish on Raja Ampat. You are asked to please put this rubbish in the bag and return it to Waisai. In Waisai there is a big container for this kind of rubbish. A regular boat takes this rubbish to Sorong on a regular basis. This should be paid from the 1000000 entry fee.

    Is there an NGO that could go to schools and talk to the children? I think we have to start from the bottom.

    • Hi Amei –

      Yes – the amount of rubbish around Waisai is depressing indeed. The main reason for that is the complete lack of effective waste collection and disposal infrastructure in Raja Ampat. Even if all rubbish was collected and deposited in receptacles, it would eventually find its way back into the environment as there’s no secure landfill or other recycling/disposal facilities.

      Your suggestion is a good one, but can’t be funded from the entry fee. Entry fee funds are raised to pay for Marine Protected Area patrols and the UPTD/BLUD organisation responsible for those. They currently don’t raise enough to cover the total cost of those either.

      There certainly are NGOs working on the issue. The Kalabia Marine Conservation Education Program has provided education to village children for several years now, and the local organisation Clean Raja Ampat in conjunction with Friendly Drifter is also doing great work and are worth supporting.

      Again though – no amount of education and trash collection is going to make much difference until the current lack of recycling/disposal infrastructure is addressed.