Bali: Hotspot for Eco-tourism Destination

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The Indonesian island of Bali has always been known as a tourist hotpot. But what not many people may know is that it is also a thriving eco destination. This hub of culture, art and music exudes natural beauty with its many waterfalls, parks and mountains. And in view of growing awareness about sustainability and concern for the environment, more and more people are opting to get a taste of what Bali has to offer in terms of an eco destination. Check out some of these nature-friendly spots in this gem of an island.

1. Dukuh Sibetan
Indonesia’s proneness to natural calamities is well documented. The village of Dukuh Sibetan is located near the foot of Mount Agung, an active volcano. Residents are all too aware of the dangers lurking up in the mountain, especially after it erupted in 1963 and covered the area with sand and rocks. They did discover something unique, however; a fruit native to the region was able to survive the toxic atmosphere. The snake fruit or salak is now the village’s biggest export and farmers have diversified the fruit by growing 14 varieties. This thriving cottage industry has put the village on the map, making it a very interesting place to visit.

2. Ceningan Island
Located around 20kms away from Bali, Ceningan Island is a paradise of sorts. The perfect getaway for those looking for peace and quiet, the island gives visitors a chance to observe how seaweed is planted and harvested. You can book a guided tour that will take you around the area or you can choose to soak in the sun and sea spray.

3. Gitgit Waterfall
Gitgit Waterfall is a delight to behold. Situated in the sub-district of Sukasada which is 300 meters above sea level, the waterfall can be accessed via a road by car or bike. While tourists flock to the area, the spot is relatively quiet and nature lovers can marvel at the coffee and clove trees that border either side of the road. You can buy souvenirs and eats at the shops that line the first half of the road.

4. Ubud Monkey Forest
The Monkey Forest at Ubud is a wonder. A nature reserve as well as a temple complex, the forest is home to the crab-eating macaque, otherwise known as the long-tailed macaque. And that’s not all. The forest also houses 115 different species of trees. This green space is a treat to visit as it is very well preserved.

5. Bedugul Botanical Garden
Flora lovers cannot give Bedugul Botanical Garden a miss. This beautiful place is a bed of many different plant and flower species. Expect to find over 1,187 plant species, 524 birch trees, 104 types of cacti and 320 species of orchids. Nature lovers can also visit the herbarium and library which is well-stocked. Students, researchers and scientists can stay at guest houses which isn’t open to the public.

6. Jatiluwih village
Set against Mt. Agung and Mt. Batukaru, Jatiluwih village is known for the ingenuity of its farmers who managed to turn the hilly region into fertile land. Terraced fields, greenery and village folk going about their business make for a quaint and pleasant tourist experience. Safety is not an issue here as the farmers choose to house their cattle in fields rather than in their backyards, with the notion that there is no thievery in the village.

About the author: Rebecca is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. These days she is busy in writing an article on Jessica Mcclintock Wedding Dresses.

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Matava wins Asia Pacific’s First ever PADI Green Star Award 2011

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PADI Green Star Award awarded to Matava , Fiji
Matava has been awarded the Asia Pacific’s first PADI Green Star Award from PADI @ DEMA
MEDIA RELEASE: 1st December 2011
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KADAVU, FIJI ISLANDS – 1st December 2011 – Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort is proud to announce that we have received the first PADI Green Star Award in the Asia Pacific region in November 2011 for our sustainable and eco-conscious environmental activities and business practices.

The program helps PADI Dive Centers and Resorts identify practical actions they can take to protect and preserve the environment. Because they choose which conservation actions they would like to implement, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts can completely customize the program for their businesses.

“There’s more to going green than simply jumping on the eco bandwagon,” says Bob Coleman, Vice President of Sales, Retailer and Resort Association, PADI Americas, Latin America and Canada. “Well-organized conservation initiatives can reduce costs while strengthening your brand, especially when you strategically introduce them into your overall business plan. Earning the PADI Green Star Award shows customers that you care about the environment and are taking action to protect it. With today’s environmentally-conscious divers, going green can be an important competitive advantage.”

The PADI Green Star award requires dive operators and resorts to conduct an objective audit of their facility and business practices and assesses performance in water and energy use, transportation, waste management and conservation leadership.

“We hope other dive operations and tourism providers in the Asia Pacific region follow our example and help to protect their local environment and achieve sustainable business practises in a green and clean manner!” said Mr. Stuart Gow, one of Matava’s Directors.

“We are extremely proud to win this award. We have been lucky to win overseas and global awards for our environmental policy in the past year, but it is especially gratifying to be recognised at home by our colleagues in Fiji.” he continued.

Richard Akhtar, Managing Director of Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said “At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding environmental efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”

“At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious global award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding similar efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially in our our region of the South Pacific.”
Mr Akhtar finished by saying “Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort has again proved that it is indeed among the leaders in environmentally sensitive resorts worldwide, and this latest award solidifies our position as an example of how resorts can operate AND help maintain and improve the surrounding environment”

The Green Star award was presented to us during DEMA week in November 2011 by PADI’s Project Aware and PADI President Mr Drew Richardson.
For more information go to their website:Matava.

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