Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu (ESRU) is a non-profit environmental restoration project. It works to install waste management solutions for the Uluwatu community; businesses, warungs (cafes) and cliff area surrounding the world famous surf break in South Bali, Indonesia.
In a show of thanks, 35 surfers joined ESRU yesterday, taking to the water to paddle out past the surf break and form a unity circle, to mark progress, raise awareness and drum up future support.
The flotilla included friends, supporters and sponsors of ESRU, as well as Uluwatu’s crew of lifeguards, who surfed 5 foot swells in typically near perfect conditions for which Uluwatu is famed. Passing through the cave and paddling out across the reef has become a rite of passage for surfers across the world. Set against the backdrop of imposing cliffs, Uluwatu attracts a quarter of a million surfers every year to experience its incredible beauty, serenity and consistent waves.
During the event, ESRU was presented with a cheque for Indonesian Rupiah 54 million (US$5,465) from Rip Curl in donation of funds raised from the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang 2011 T-shirt sales.
James Hendy, Marketing Manager Rip Curl SE Asia said: The current situation at Uluwatu is that the spot is under massive strain from over-usage and poor infrastructure, resulting in huge pollution issues. As one of the best known and publicized surf spots on the planet, its every surfers’ duty to help do all we can to protect this amazing break and its surroundings. Rip Curl has in the past donated cash to help fund a sustainable toilet facility, and will be doing all we can to raise more funds for the project in the future. We are lucky enough to have local support to run the annual Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang just around the corner, so we’re stoked to support ESRU with this donation from our event T-Shirt sales to help protect Uluwatu for future generations to enjoy.
Mike O’Leary, founder of ROLE Foundation, a Bali based non-profit organization managing the ESRU project commented: “We are grateful to our partners and sponsors. They are helping us restore Uluwatu’s ecosystems, where a municipal service currently does not exist.”
O’Leary furthered: “Since the project started in June 2011 we’ve been focusing on solid waste, cooking oil and rubbish collection issues for the 50 small businesses operating in the ‘Pantai Suluban’ and cliff area of Uluwatu. As our work continues, we want to address liquid waste, sewerage and sanitation needs, as well as localized composting.”
Within a trial phase for cooperation, Caritas Switzerland, a NGO also donated a 1000L tank to collect used cooking oil, which they will recycle and convert into bio diesel.
Lili Saragih, Liaison Officer Caritas Indonesia said: “We provide a cost neutral, reliable and sustainable disposal solution for participating hotels and restaurants to remove their unwanted oil waste safely. We are delighted that through our partnership with ESRU we can offer this complimentary service to businesses in the Uluwatu area.”
The cooperation is part of bigger project carried out in Bali by Caritas Switzerland. In the frame of this project, it is planned to collect used cooking oil from cooperating hotels and restaurants free of charge. In a processing plant, the used cooking oil is processed into biodiesel. The collection and processing is organized by a community-based organization, which is founded for the project. By that, work places for the socially unprivileged people are created and so their subsistence and that of their families is being improved. The saved greenhouse gas emissions (ca. 1‘000 – 1‘500 t CO2/a) are supplied to the emission trade as certificates and serve for refunding of the project.
Commenting on the Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu paddle out, Made Dhana, an Uluwatu lifeguard said: “I am happy to see so many people paddle out today, share this experience and learn about Eco Surf Rescue. Uluwatu is my home, for surfers and for everyone to enjoy. We must work together to keep it safe and clean.”
ESRU’s Solid & Liquid Waste Management Solution
- ESRU has removed 30 tons of rubbish as part of an initial clean-up, conducted water tests, topographical and 3D site surveys to map the cliff side site.
- Addressing Solid Waste Management, a large concrete refuse collection point has been constructed, organic and non-organic bins given to local businesses, GUS Foundation sponsors ladies to collect rubbish and empty these bins daily, and EcoBali have been contracted to provide a rubbish removal and recycling service 3 times a week.
- Ongoing community engagement, ESRU provides environmental awareness through regular training and planned improved site signage.
- The second stage of the project aims to solve liquid waste problems. The approved plan is now awaiting further funds being raised. The planned solution links all the warungs and toilets to an environmental sewage processing system that connects to wastewater gardens.
- ESRU is run by volunteers and committee formed by residents, passionate surfers, local business owners and non-profit organizations GUS Foundation and ROLE Foundation, with ROLE responsible for the project’s overall management.
- ESRU’s vision is to turn the world famous Uluwatu Surf Break with its associated marine and land environments into a pristine and healthy ‘Surf Heritage Site’ for the benefit of the coastal community for present and future generations
- ESRU’s mission is to plan, design, build and manage a solid and liquid waste infrastructure, facilities and associated waste management system to preserve and bring back to health the local ecosystems. Become a sustainable project run by the local community for the benefit of the community and visitors to Uluwatu. Become a case study that can help and inspire other ‘environmentally challenged’ surf breaks in Indonesia, and globally.
- ESRU partners and sponsors include: JdeR Consulting Engineering, Uluwatu Surf Villas, Uluwatu Cliff Front Apartments, Alila Uluwatu, Surfer Girl, Little Tree, Rip Curl, QuikSilver, Art-in-Surf, Oakley, Rusty, Macbeth, EcoBali Recycling, Synergy Carbon, Caritas Switzerland
For more information about ESRU visit: http://ecosurfrescue.moonfruit.com