Bali Hai is committed to preserving our environment and to work within the communities and villages we live in. As a company that has been in Bali for over 25 years, we feel a responsibility to ensure the beautiful islands and waters stay pristine and healthy for people to enjoy for generations to come. It’s not a responsibility we take lightly so we seek out experts to work with us and we empower our own team to manage their environment and report on any changes. We have dive sites we monitor for change, we look after the reef and corals that we visit, and we educate our guests about the importance of our impact on the environment. We have recycling, water management and desalination programs in Benoa, Menjangan and Nusa Lembongan; we also conduct Earth Day functions and do continual awareness programs within the community; recently we have gone one step further again and joined forces with an incredible company making enormous scientific discoveries to help protect, preserve and repair our environment.
Mars Symbioscience is a CSR focused subsidiary of Mars Enterprise – yes, that Mars. The Mars family are most well known for the Mars Bars, other chocolate products, pet food, and other wholesale products. However they are also world leaders in environmental research and development. Frank Mars Jnr is a driving force of this work, and is passionate and positive about change and development being essential for the longevity of our land and marine environment.Noel Janeski heads up Mars Symbioscience and has developed a ‘spider’, a structure that can assist in the regeneration of reef and coral where other reef regeneration systems have not worked. This structure and the research behind it, is the pioneering force behind the use of new reef regeneration to help rehabilitate damaged reef and encourage new marine life back to the area.
They have been trialling the structure in areas in Sulawesi which now completed has led to the some of Asia’s largest and most successful reef recovery projects. Bringing these reef ‘spiders’ to Nusa Lembongan is the first time they have been taken outside of the trial area, and in doing so saw them being demonstrated to some of Indonesia’s most influential current and future business leaders. However more on that later.
Frank Mars Jnr, Noel Janeski and other team members from Mars recently visited Nusa Lembongan and spent time visiting the sites around the islands, looking for areas of concern. They were able to report back that the area has the best coral cover of all the areas around Bali that they inspected, but there were some areas that could have damage repaired.
Bali Hai is just one of over 22 dive operators on the island, however with a pontoon, various water sport activities, and several boats, we are one of the largest companies so we are passionate about how we can assist the Mars Symbioscience NGO in their work to look after the marine environment.
After spending time on the island and obviously in the water, Frank, Noel and team members from the NGO and Bali Hai, discussed the work that could be done over lunch at Hai Bar & Grill – a busy day in the water working certainly needs great food!
Frank Mars Jnr and Bali Hai have formed an alliance where 50 new coral structures will be placed and supported in damaged areas to improve the quality of the reef and coral, therefore regenerating an incredibly important ecosystem. Obviously there are local laws that must be adhered to and the work must be approved and supported by all bodies so it’s in the beginning stages, however we are incredibly excited to be a part of this venture and to see any damaged areas of reef and coral be returned to their former healthy beauty.
A part of the work with Mars Symbioscience saw Bali Hai host a day for Young Presidents Organisation (YPO), which is a group of Indonesia’s current and future business leaders, as I mentioned before. We invited YPO members and their families to enjoy a day sailing on our boat the Aristocat, so it was an early start in Benoa before everyone was able to play captain and sail to the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan.
The YPO members were able to dive and snorkel around the sites that were being ear-marked for this regenation work and a demonstration was made by Noel and his team, which allowed the YPO members to venture down to the reef and place the ‘spiders’ into areas where new growth was to be encouraged. Under water photos were taken to document this momentous occasion, and to symbolise the joint task about to be undertaken.
Lunch was held at the beach club at Hai Tide Beach Resort where Noel Janeski was guest speaker, discussing how the ‘spiders’ work, the research program and obviously future research and work still to be done. YPO donated 450Million IDR to the Coral Triangle Center and it’s work so the day was also a recognition and celebration of YPO’s investment in the future of the Indonesian environment. These current and future leaders are vital in the rehabilitation and protection of the environment so we consider it an honour to be involved.
I mentioned that their families also joined as we believe starting environmental education at a young age is important. Throughout the day their children were able to enjoy the water and learn about the environment with a group being shown the mangrove area and subsequently doing some planting to encourage new growth and development in the mangroves.
We would also like to mention the invaluable work done by Coral Triangle Center, their ongoing commitment to the islands and the surrounding marine life. They have been tireless in their research and education programs and assisted on the day in sharing ideas and knowledge and will stay a part of the program to assist in ensuring it’s success.
We welcome any and all questions and we will continue to share all research, news and development with regards to our environmental work. We believe by everyone working together, sharing best practices and recognising powerful reef regeneration techniques, we can reduce and limit past and future damage, and create a stunning under water world for everyone to enjoy.