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A Garden in a Rainforest

Let the land tell you what it wants

We pride ourselves on truly honouring the guiding principles of being an Eco Lodge, paying deep attention to the ecosystem that surrounds us and living with its sustainability at heart.

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Our Story

Growing up in England, Jack had always envisioned escaping its cold climes by building a home in a place that would continue from ridge to reef – a tropical garden flowing into an underwater one. 

 

It was a passion for diving that brought him to the archipelago of Raja Ampat, which is part of the coral triangle and has the richest marine biodiversity on earth, but also where he would become privy to the other side of this paradise. 

 

In 2018, Jack chanced upon the initial Crown of Thorns starfish (COTs) outbreak. With friend Norman Van't Hoff, they sounded the alarm on the issue and removed thousands of COTs that posed a major threat to the reef in front of the lodge and neighbouring ones in Kabui Bay.

 

 

Not only did the outbreak gain international attention but it also shed light on its cause - nutrient pollution from lack of wastewater management in the face of escalating mass tourism. Despite Raja Ampat’s remoteness, its popularity as a diving spot attracted over 46,000 visitors in 2019 pre-pandemic. 

 

However, removing tourists isn't the solution. During Covid-19, the absence of tourism was simply replaced by commercial fishing. It’s clear that Raja Ampat is set to run an unsustainable trajectory towards inevitable environmental degradation if a new approach to tourism and alternative livelihoods aren’t conceived.

When founder of Raja Ampat's first dive resort Max Ammer visited the lodge, inspired by how Jack was regenerating the land, he opined that the best way to save Raja Ampat and Papua as a whole is through agroforestry. In other words, sustainable land management practices are key to the province and its people’s survival. 

 

As it is, Raja Ampat Eco Lodge sits at a strategic crossroads with encroaching deforestation from Waisai town in the east, rainforest under threat from the north and south where villages mainly rely on logging (in addition to fishing) to make ends meet.

 

Yet all has not been lost. When Jack was involved with the Sasi program also led by Norman which taught communities how to create their own Local Protection Areas (LPAs), he saw Sapokreng village's willingness to engage in conservation. Moreover, they agreed to let Jack manage the forest surrounding the lodge as a conservation zone as part of the land contract.

This community blessing has fuelled Jack’s hope for the family lodge and way of living to be a testing ground to experiment with various ecological methods, and then set what works by example for his children, Bobo and Isla, and others to learn from, to collectively stem the rising tide of unsustainable development

 

With wife Adecya who left the hustle and bustle of Jakarta to create an inspirational home with Jack, they are already putting permaculture, agroforestry and reef regeneration  into practice. 

 

The lodge facilitates projects that demonstrate effective ways to conserve land and sea, and support businesses that can adopt better practices to benefit Papuan communities who are in need of alternative forms of livelihood. 

 

The objective is to inspire those with keen ecological interest to support stewardship of this archipelago so it may sustain into the future for generations to come.

We pride ourselves to live with nature, learning from its wisdom and sharing it with our community and our guests.
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