Supporting Local Communities Throughout 2020
In early 2020 the world was put on pause for many. We're all now familiar with the terms Covid-19, social distancing and lockdown whilst we've all witnessed different impacts of the virus depending on our location.
For the Togean Conservation Foundation, there has been no pause in our activities although at times we have had to adapt to new regulations and restrictions for the community's safety. Throughout the difficult period our approach and values have remained the same as we work alongside the islands community to build a sustainable future.
One of the main activities we have undertaken is to work alongside Reconnect, a local eco-resort. We have given staff training on a variety of topics including organic permaculture methods and a waste recycling mechanism whilst also offering guidance to help with their goal of planting 10,000 trees in the Togeans over the next 3 years.
It's not just a matter of offering advice on which tree species will support local biodiversity and offer economic opportunities to locals. We have also built a tree nursery at Reconnect to help accomodate seedlings, trained staff on how to make compost and reuse kitchen waste and marine debris as plant pots.
Education is really important to us as it empowers local communities to take control of their own environmental footprint. Sanctum Eco-Resort and Dive Centre has been working to tackle marine waste and raise awareness of ecological issues with local children. As well as their regular beach cleanups, they have been working together with local waste activists, Ampana Dive Community, to enable local residents in Una-Una to benefit from using plastic waste to make eco-bricks which Sanctum is turning into useful items such as seating. The kids love cashing in their eco-bricks for pens, notebooks and snorkeling and diving sessions. We have been discussing ways of partnering with Ampana Dive Community to make the eco-brick program sustainable without being dependent on funding and to roll it out across other villages.