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Delphine Robbe: Gili Eco Trust Reef Preservation and Creation

Delphine Robbe has made it her mission to save the reefs of Indonesia’s Gili Islands. The French national has been a mainstay on Gili Trawangan since 2004, when she started work as PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer for Big Bubble Dive. In 2006 she joined the Gili Eco Trust (, which helps the locals and tourists coexist – even thrive – with the environment.

Delphine’s accomplishments with the trust are numerous: She is a coral propagation trainer and has taught the Biorock distinctive specialty – which she created in 2008 – to more than 250 students, conducts regular marine education workshops, and has helped establish coral-regeneration sites, place mooring buoys and run weekly island cleanups. Delphine is also an eco-advisor for businesses setting up on the three Gili islands, and has set up recycling and waste management programs that benefit Gili Trawangan’s local economy – she is helping to reduce the use of single-use plastics on the island, and works alongside locals collecting and recycling glass bottles, which are then crushed into sand and made into bricks.

Was it difficult getting tourists to “buy in” to your eco ideas?

It’s amazing how many people don’t understand how to minimize their environmental impact while on holiday. We created educational posters with 10 recommendations on how to be a responsible tourist, and developed tours including a recycling tour, Biorock eco-snorkeling tour, paddleboarding surface cleanup, and we also have our weekly beach cleanup for which many tourists join.

Have you seen the reefs’ health improve in the nearly 15 years since you joined Gili Eco Trust?

Reef coverage in the Gili Islands has improved, as we have more reefs, but the quality has declined. Corals have to fight so many stressors daily in order not to die.

What are some fun ways you’ve raised money for the Gili Eco Trust?

The Gili Strong Triathlon, which has (almost) happened annually since 2007. It’s a great gathering of people to swim, cycle and run in our little island and celebrate being together and reaching our goals of ecotourism.

What are the next steps to making Gili Trawangan a “zero-waste-to-landfill” island?

So many steps left! We need to educate everyone and get them to have waste separation as a habit. We also need to raise more funds for our eco-rangers program to be able to provide daily waste-separation education for everyone on Trawangan.

What is the next big issue for you/Gili Eco Trust to tackle?

Waste is still my big issue, my big goal – I don’t want to jump on to the next issue until I feel that my waste mission is accomplished!

Based on an article that appeared in the Third Quarter 2020 The Undersea Journal®

The post Delphine Robbe: Gili Eco Trust Reef Preservation and Creation appeared first on PADI Pros.

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