KESAB Executive Director, John Phillips OAM, recently returned from Lombok where he presented a session about the global impacts of Marine Litter and Debris to a group of tourism operators on the island.
Lombok is only a five hour flight and a two hour (fast) boat ride from Adelaide, and visitors from all over the world head to the island to enjoy its “pristine” ecotourism experience; with, tropical forests, waterfalls and volcanoes at your doorstep. Tourism is the main and continually growing economic contributor for the island.
The problem of litter and waste disposal on Lombok is literally out of control and KESAB was invited by an Australian based operator to identify possible solutions to engage community and schools and influence improved disposal practices.
On arrival in Lombok, the immediate visual impact of plastic and packaging pollution is mind blowing. It highlights the lack of waste management services and overall waste pollution challenges, facing this beautiful volcanic island.
John’s presentation to over 20 tourist operators who host international “eco trippers” created considerable interest and hopefully is a starting point to influence litter reduction programs and education based on the successful KESAB model that has operated over 50 years.
On Lombok the community shop front litter bins and signage would have an immediate impact. Accordingly, KESAB will be recommending simple approaches in the first instance, whereby outcomes can be demonstrated and measured.
However, it is not a matter of just dropping the KESAB model in, as aspects across cultural, economic, political and infrastructure management must be addressed before any implementation can commence. John’s approach was to present the issue as a global one.
Whilst the Lombok project is far away from KESAB’s door step, it highlights South Australia’s overall success at reducing litter and waste, and the opportunity to apply this to neighbouring countries who are seeking direction and guidance to protect their environment and reduce pollution.