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.

October 2019 Update: The Environment Watch App was built on an old platform which is not supported on our new server. Unfortunately, the App didn’t receive enough use to warrant the investment required to update it. If we can raise the funds required to rebuild it, we will bring it back anyway.

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.

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.

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.


Add Comment
  1. Tina on

    Hi, the links below Raja Ampat Environment watch do not work anymore.

    1. Thanks for reminding us about this Tina – we forgot to add advice about it after our recent site and server upgrades.

      The Environment Watch App was built on an old platform which is not supported on our new server.

      Unfortunately, the App didn’t receive enough use to warrant the investment required to update it. If we can raise the funds necessary to rebuild it, we will bring it back.

      1. Tina on

        The update should be possible with the recent 16% price increase for homestay bookings. Otherwise the new price policy feels even more like a big scam and move towards “booking.com” & “airbnb”

        1. Sorry to hear you feel that way Tina.

          Stay Raja Ampat is owned and controlled by the families whose businesses are represented on the website, and every cent raised by commissions paid on website sales directly benefit those families’ award-winning community organisation. Stay Raja Ampat could not be further from the model of the big booking aggregators.

          The recent changes to Stay Raja Ampat provide the means by which this Papuan community organisation’s members will:
          (i) free themselves from dependency on donor financing,
          (ii) become truly economically independent, and
          (iii) guarantee the long-term survival of both their association and their website.

          If Raja Ampat visitors understand the reasons for these changes, and choose to support the aspirations of Papuan communities in the islands, then that’s great.

          Homestay owners understand that (for some) the homestay value proposition has been destroyed by these changes, and that those guests will choose other Indonesian island destinations.

          That’s fine too: Raja Ampat Homestay Association members are well aware of the threat that cheap mass tourism poses to their traditional lands.

  2. Easy - on

    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.

    1. It’s awful, isn’t it?

      Your idea is a good one and (assuming that Sorong Regency would accept Raja Ampat Regency’s rubbish) would seem simple enough to do.


      In the last year for which full figures are available (2016), the Environmental Service Fee raised the equivalent of 1.13 million USD.

      After paying for the bureaucracy established to administer the Fee, there is barely enough money left to pay for fuel for Marine Protected Area patrol boats, let alone to provide any other ‘environmental services’.

      Hopefully, growth in visitor numbers will eventually outstrip growth in the bureaucracy, and funds will become available for decent waste management and other desperately needed environmental services.

      There are a number of NGOs dedicated to educating Raja Ampat’s youth and taking direct action to address the rubbish problem.

      1. ibusampah on

        Specifically concerning the TOURSITS’ trash, the best solution is to get in touch with Bank Sampah Sorong organized by the Misool Foundation. If you get in touch with them before arriving they will meet you in the airport and hand you rice bags to collect waste in and reading materials about their work and how to sort the trash you generate or collect during your stay in Raja Ampat.

        Of course, you’ll have to carry this waste back with you on the ferry from Waisai to Sorong, but it should be no problem as long as you can carry it around yourself. A woman I met recently carried 35 pounds of waste back with her. They appreciate it if you sort the recyclable materials first, but it’s not required.

        Hopefully there will be a pickup center in Waisai for Bank Sampah soon. That way all of the tourists and homestay owners can bring their waste there. You can earn money for what you return–which is a great incentives for locals.

        I hope this will pave the way to a brighter future for Raja Ampat and Sorong’s waste management systems.

        1. Thanks for the update Ibusampah. It’s great news that there is a Bank Sampah in Sorong now.

          If you would like to write an article about how Bank Sampah works and the benefits it provides to both the community and the environment, we would love to publish it to encourage as many visitors as possible to get involved. Readers love to see photos, so it would be great if you could provide some of those too :) Thank you again and our best wishes for Bank Sampah’s success!

  3. James on

    This is an environment-related question but at a lower level. When visiting homestays it seems you’re required to take any rubbish you produce back to Waisai. I get that. What if you’re visiting different homestays during your visit? Are you required to pack up your rubbish and take it with you from island to island till you finally end your trip back at Waisai? Just asking so as to be prepared.

    1. Hi James

      If you want to do your best to minimise your personal contribution to pollution in Raja Ampat, then yes – you would need to take all your inorganic waste back to Sorong. (Waisai is better than leaving it on the islands, but Waisai lacks safe landfill and has no recycling capacity, so Sorong is better.)

      Packing out your trash is a recommendation though, not a firm requirement: It’s very much up to an individual’s conscience to decide what the appropriate level of effort is.

  4. Sina on

    sorry, maybe I have a problem and my Smartphone and Laptop (Linux) does not show everything correct, but I have problems installing the app.

    1. following the link above to install the app with android is a “file not found” error on both devices.
    2. If I search “Raja Ampat Environmental” in Google Play or F-Droid I get no results
    3. If I search for ushahidi in Google Play I can download an App called “Ushahidi” but it does not ask for a map. I have just the option to “add my first deployment”. And if I enter the https://rajaampat.com/rawatch it does refuse.

    What do I have to do?



    1. Hi Sina

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention! This page needs updating. We’ll get onto it.

      Unfortunately, Ushahidhi stopped supporting mobile apps for the version of Ushahidi that RAEW was built with, so mobile installations are no longer available. The webapp still works fine though, and reports can be filed there without a problem (as long as you have an internet connection of course!)

      Our apologies for the inconvenience and thank you so much for your interest :)

      1. Sina on

        Thanks for your fast answer! I will certainly use it that way if neccessary ( I dont hope so ;) )

  5. EBR on


    I was on holidays in Raja Ampat a few weeks ago and together with other tourists we were talking about how important is to keep this beautiful place clean.

    We were snorkling and we were collecting the plastic that we saw on the sea. We tought that if everybody would do the same everything would be cleaner.

    Nowadays, in other places there are some volunteer trips just to collect plastic and debris for 1 day that people join. Also, there are some organizations like this https://www.projectaware.org/diveagainstdebris that help to clean the sea.

    Although, I agree that till the recycling/disposal infrastructure is addressed, it is going to be difficult to solve the issue. Maybe something like this could be helpful as well http://www.plasticbank.org.

    Thanks and good luck!

  6. Debra Naused Wateska on

    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! ?

    1. 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 :)

  7. Charlotte Meuleman on

    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!

    1. 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!

  8. Amei Binns on

    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.

    1. 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.

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