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Saving Uluwatu

Community Members and Local Companies Work to Save Baliís Famous Uluwatu Surf Area from Environmental Degradation

(12/5/2011) Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu (ESRU) - a non-profit environmental restoration project – is working to install waste management solutions for Uluwatu residents and business situated along the cliffs overlooking the world famous surf break in South Bali, Indonesia.

In a show of thanks, 35 surfers joined ESRU on Monday, November 28, 2011, by paddling out past the surf break to form a unity circle to mark progress in the project to date and raise public awareness of the need to keep Bali clean and green.

The flotilla of surfers included friends, supporters and sponsors of ESRU, as well as Uluwatu’s crew of lifeguards, who surfed 5 foot swells in near perfect conditions.

Passing through the iconic cave and paddling out across the reef has become a rite of passage for surfers across the world. Set against the dramatic backdrop of imposing cliffs, Uluwatu attracts a quarter of a million surfers every year to experience its beauty and consistent waves.

During the event, ESRU was presented with a check for Rp. 54 million (US$5,465) from Rip Curl representing 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 added: “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 areas of Uluwatu. As our work continues, we want to address liquid waste, sewerage and sanitation needs, as well as localized composting.” 



During a trial period of cooperation, Caritas Switzerland donated a 1,000-liter tank used to collect used cooking oil, which will be recycled and converted 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.” 



Part of a large overall project operated by Caritas Switzerland in Bali, plans are to collect used cooking oil from cooperating hotels and restaurants without charge. In a processing plant, the used cooking oil is processed into biodiesel. The collection and processing is organized by a community-based organization, established as part of the project. In turn, employment opportunities are created and the standard of living of some of Uluwatu’s poorest families is improved.

The saved greenhouse gas emissions earn emission trade certificates used to sustain funding for 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

Among ESRU achievements to date include:

ESRU is run by volunteers and committee formed by residents, passionate surfers, local business owners and non-profit organizations.

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Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu paddle out and for a unity ring. Breaking wave in the foreground.

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Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu paddle out and form unity ring.

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Handshake Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu Receives Donation from Rip Curl” Left to right: Mike O’Leary, Founder of ROLE Foundation; Garut Widiarta, Rip Curl Indonesia; Made Dhana, Uluwatu Life Guard; Curtis Lowe, ESRU representative & ROLE Foundation volunteer; Made Lana, the Edge; Yude, Rip Curl Indonesia; James Hendy, Marketing Manager Rip Curl SE Asia; Jon Huberman, Uluwatu resident & ESRU committee member.

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Thumbs Up Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu Receives Donation from Rip Curl” Back row left to right: Garut Widiarta, Rip Curl Indonesia; Made Dhana, Uluwatu Life Guard; Made Lana, the Edge; Curtis Lowe, ESRU representative & ROLE Foundation volunteer, Front row left to right: Ferry Lee, ESRU & ROLE Foundation volunteer; Mike O’Leary, Founder of ROLE Foundation; James Hendy, Marketing Manager Rip Curl SE Asia; Yude, Rip Curl Indonesia.