Tompotika Foundation (legally known as Yayasan Tompotika Lestari) is the charity arm of the private resort Tompotika Dive Lodge and the Liveaboard Operator Wallacea Dive Cruise. Founded by a family of divers, the foundation is based in the Peninsula of Balantak, Luwuk, Central Sulawesi. Our mission is to preserve and safeguard the marine environement of this area as well as to promote sustainable developement of the communities. Actively involving our guests, the villagers and the local government, we focus on providing a structure to overcome the challenges of marine conservation by combining environmental, social and educational elements. As a community based conservation, we constantly encourage the local community to identify the natural and social resources that they have in order to respect and preserve it.
It all started with Wallacea Dive Cruise, the company founded in 2001 by an Indonesian –French couple, Suryani Mile and Jerome Doucet, a pionner dive liveaboard activity. Suryani being native from Luwuk, we started with a first (small) boat, covering the areas of Banggai and Togian islands. Exploring the coast between those 2 archipelagos we discovered the underwater fabulous underwater world of the Balantak Peninsula, also know as Pulau Dua area. We then regularly did bring our guests to dive this area. However, during those years we could see some degradation happening on the reefs, due to fish bombing and overfishing. Our efforts to preserve the area where vains as we didn’t have a base in the area. Later on we developped the activity of Wallacea Dive Cruise with a bigger boat, and went to some other areas that were more promising in terms of marketing: Raja Ampat, Komodo, etc.
We however decided to build a small dive lodge in 2014 as we did feel the Pulau Dua area has a great potential. Having the new Tompotika Dive Lodge implemented, then we started to actively fight for the wealth of the reefs.
By our permanent presence and thanks to the implication of the local governement, by regular patroling with the authorities we managed to reduce and stop the fish bombing and other unealthy fishing practises.
We then created the NGO to have a distinct entity dedicated to the conservation, separately from the commercial resort activity.
By today, fish bombing is not happening anymore, even if the threats still can be back any time. Due to the development of offshore fishing activities the pressure on the reefs is now much less. The marine life is growing again, getting richer every year. But there is still a lot to do, and a lot to improve.
The founders are Suryani Mile and Jerome Doucet, and the Foundation is managed a team based in Kampangar, at Pulau Dua.