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Our Impact

The 5000 square metre plot of land upon which Raja Ampat Eco Lodge sits is in contractual agreement with the local authority of Sapokreng village who have entrusted Jack to manage not only the lodge grounds, but also the surrounding rainforest as a conservation zone and the sea in front as a no-take zone

 

Developing the lodge and its grounds has been a tremendous journey of persistence and resilience, where time has been taken to observe and “work out what the land wants” to learn how to live in an ecological way that supports our family, the community’s livelihood and the environment’s longevity.

 

We lived on what was initially just a remote building site without having any amenities or infrastructure. During those five years, Adecya was pregnant twice where healthcare wasn't proximal, giving birth to Bobo in Waisai (a half-hour boat and car journey) and Isla in Sorong (a 2-hour long ferry ride from Waisai) .  

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Personal difficulties aside, building was challenging when it came to making the land liveable. There were multiple resource limitations, accessibility and communication issues on top of ensuring that the process would be at its most sustainable possible.

 

There were no local architects available. Finding local builders was hard so much so we flew in someone from Jakarta to help us. Tools were rudimentary and construction was all handmade e.g. the wood was hand planed. Most building materials were hard to come by from roof and tiles to screws and bolts. They all got shipped in from Jakarta though we bought our wood from local sellers. All supplies to the site itself could only be transported on a small fishing boat. We collected 30 tonnes of river sand further afield in place of using coastal sand to make cement for the building foundations in order to preserve the coastline from further erosion. Our wastewater garden though an ingenious filtration system was highly technical and took three months to build. The development of our Hügelkultur garden was also laborious, requiring the land to be dug by hand, and large amounts of wood detritus to be collected then buried. 

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Ultimately, we had to come up with solutions through a lot of trial and error relative to our environment - at times accepting the limitations by using and innovating upon what was available to us, at others seeking alternatives elsewhere, often going beyond what was necessary. But it’s all been worth it.

 

The photos below are a testament to how the land that was once sandy, shallow and infertile has dramatically shifted to one that’s now lush, verdant and can bear fruit.

What the land looked like upon arrival in 2018 versus what it looks like now. 

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Our first permaculture project situated in the back of the garden. 

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Over the years we extended our permaculture garden to produce fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and more for us and the surrounding fauna.

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The back of the land where we dug a borehole as a supplementary water supply to the rainwater we collect.

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View from the staff house overlooking the Alfred Wallace bungalow and Hügelkultur garden.

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Our wastewater garden.

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Using river sand which we collected further afield to make cement for the boat ramp.

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From permaculture and reef protection to community building, we've developed ecological living practices to inspire others to implement local conservation projects.
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