As part of its We Are One Ocean initiative at the Quiksilver/ROXY Pro G-Land, WSL joined forces with Quiksilver, ROXY, Corona, and Shiseido and partnered with Indonesian and international organizations to protect and conserve the global ocean. WSL surfers worked with the Alas Purwo National Park, the Surf Conservation Partnership (SCP), a national Indonesian foundation - Konservasi Indonesia, Sungai Watch, SeaTrees, and local surf camps to support ongoing efforts to protect the outstanding ecosystems and waves of G-Land, Indonesia.
Across the planet, more than 75% of the best surf breaks are in locations with outstanding coastal and marine ecosystems that are rich in biological diversity. These "surf ecosystems" provide so much to local people, international surfers, and the world. They are an irreplaceable legacy that must be protected. G-Land, in East Java, located within Alas Purwo National Park and the surrounding Grajagan Bay, is one of the most outstanding surf ecosystems anywhere on earth. The area is home to an intact primary rainforest that runs straight to the sea, abundant mangrove forests, sea turtle nesting beaches, and a rich and diverse marine environment. We are so honored to be doing our part to work with the National Park and other partners to protect and maintain this incredible place.
Local communities in Banyuwangi Regency, where G-Land is located, have a deep cultural conservation ethic that ties back to this area's origins as the seat of Indonesia's most important historical kingdom, the Blambangan and Majapahit Kingdom. As a result, there is a deep respect for the National Park and maintaining natural ecosystems in this area.
Likewise, the Alas Purwo National Park-which is divided into sections, resorts, and special management units-has worked successfully for years to protect the forests and coastlines of this area. Government policy pays attention to the people who have lived around the Conservation Area for generations with all the local wisdom they have for conservation. Head of the Alas Purwo National Park Office Mr. Nuryadi stated that "the Alas Purwo National Park has very high potential for tourism activities, ranging from biodiversity, ecosystems, historical and cultural heritage to the presence of waves in Plengkung for surfing tourism, so that it can provide benefits to local and international communities."
As part of Championship Tour events at G-Land, the National Park, Konservasi Indonesia and the Surf Conservation Partnership, WSL, Corona and Shiseido are supporting efforts to restore G-Land's vibrant coastline-including planting rare native tree species that help to maintain the beach areas and prevent erosion. This is a critical element of much broader long-term efforts to protect this remarkable surf ecosystem. We are also providing alternative ways to address plastic pollution, including establishing a local plastic up-cycling effort that will allow beach plastic to be repurposed into useful durable products like tables, chairs, and school supplies. Finally, we have been conducting education and outreach with surrounding villages to stress the benefits that pursuing conservation can bring to the local communities.
To further protect this surf ecosystem, Quiksilver and ROXY are teaming up with SeaTrees to help local communities to reverse the effects of climate change by restoring damaged coral reef ecosystems. "As surfers, we need to care about the ocean. By harnessing the power of the surf industry, we are now able to regenerate ocean health and protect critical ecosystems in this region of the world. The support from Boardriders demonstrates the positive impact from the surf industry in restoring coral reefs and reversing the effects of climate change." - Michael Stewart, Co-founder of Sustainable Surf/SeaTrees.
Additionally, alongside Sungai Watch, Corona is reducing plastic pollution in Indonesia by focusing on cleaning up its rivers, where over 80% of ocean plastic originates. Quiksilver is also supporting Sungai Watch by donating a portion of all G-Land merchandise sales to the organization to clean up plastic that has accumulated along the coastline in Alas Purwo National Park.
Sam Bencheghib, Sungai Watch Co-Founder, said, "Java is the world's most populated island and home to 90 of the world's 1,000 most polluted rivers. We're very excited to be installing 20 barriers here with Corona and WSL PURE as our first activation in Java. River cleanups are a disaster relief effort but we believe that it is the quickest and most effective way to prevent plastics from going into the ocean." Gary Bencheghib, Sungai Watch Co-Founder, added, "Every barrier we place is an opportunity to collect data per river to better understand waste leakages in the environment. We hope that our work can radically shift the way we perceive plastic for future generations."
The fantastic ongoing conservation efforts at G-Land provide a model for how to protect surf ecosystems across Indonesia and around the world, and we are glad to be offering our support to those efforts to help ensure this area is protected in the long-term.
The Surf Conservation Partnership is supporting partners across the world to create new protected areas or strengthen existing ones where great surf and important biodiversity overlap. These Surf Protected Areas use surf breaks as an anchor and motivator for protection of much larger surrounding ecosystems including coral reefs, coastlines, and coastal forests to greatly benefit nature, local communities, and surfers.
These efforts always start with the local people, local government, and partner organizations. We work with them to identify important ecosystems and resources that need to be protected and to understand ongoing threats and challenges to these ecosystems. We then collaborate to develop and implement solutions and regulations to overcome these threats and challenges.
Iwan Dewantama, Senior Manager Bali Island & Sunda Banda Seascape at Konservasi Indonesia, who is coordinating the project in East Java said, "As the majority of people living in surf ecosystems are fishers and farmers, it is important to develop solutions that protect their ecosystems, address pollution, improve their fish catch, strengthen their agricultural systems, and to help them develop new economic opportunities that are linked to surfing and conservation. Local surfers and communities are so enthusiastic to protect their surf breaks and ecosystems that this process moves quickly."
People protect what they love, and surfers love the ocean. We are so happy to work together with so many partners to mobilize this passion for the conservation of surf and surrounding ecosystems at G-Land, across Indonesia, and around the world.
The Surf Conservation Partnership (SCP) is a collaboration between Conservation International and Save The Waves Coalition that is working globally to protect irreplaceable ecosystems around the world's best surf breaks. The Surf Conservation Partnership is working across the world with partners in Indonesia and Costa Rica, and starting soon in Fiji, Peru, and as many locations as possible to support efforts to protect surf ecosystems for the benefit of nature and people. In Indonesia, SCP works with Konservasi Indonesia to conserve marine and coastal ecosystems around Indonesia's best surf breaks.