Our second Summer School “Sustainability and Eco Tourism” in Bali

With our Winter semester 2019 just starting, we would like to take the time to reflect another great Summer School “Sustainability & Ecotourism” in Bali. We are glad that we could again share various approaches to Ecotourism in Bali and introduce our students to a different side of tourism on the island.

Ecotourism programs in the focus

Just as last year our main focus was set on providing the students with a new approach to Ecotourism. When many of our students have related tourism mostly to the hotel industry before coming to Bali, they have now learnt that the hospitality sector is actually only a small fraction of it. They had the chance to visit 11 different Ecotourism sites or programs in various parts of Bali and only two of these visits have been to a hotel or a homestay.

We were eager to provide a balanced itinerary between well-known Ecotourism sites such as the butterfly park or the world heritage site Jatiluwih and those, that are less commercial but still provide a touristic attraction such as the Turtle Conservation Center or the coral garden in Nusa Dua. We could learn that, with the right amount of passion, even small initiatives can have a great impact on our environment.

Also this year, we are happy that we had the chance to again be invited by a small eco hotel in Ubud area to learn more about their approaches of sustainable hotel management in regards to social, environmental and spiritual aspects. 

Excursion week - Coral Reef Restoration or Adventure?

With a program held in Bali, we always need to consider the Balinese calendar and life with all its ceremonies. As university has been closed during the week of Galungan, we took the chance to organize a full week of excursions and adventure trips for our summer school, satisfying two groups of interests! As some of our students had a special interest in Coral Reef Restoration, we organized a 4-day course in collaboration with a foundation in Nusa Dua. During these days, 2 of our students had the chance to transplant corals and maintain the coral garden, get to know more about the various types of corals and went diving at the amazing shipwreck in Tulamben.

For the adventure seekers of our summer school we had a slightly different plan. Whereas on Monday they could all join our coral transplantation workshop, but then splitted form the other group and went tree top climbing! We then closed the week all together again with a visit to our friend Buda in ancient Lemukih where we spent the night in his family homestay and the day hiking through lush rice paddies to refreshing waterfalls.

Tri Hita Karana and Coral Reef Restoration

This year we took our students to 3 different coral reef restoration sites. Here’s why: with a summer school focusing on Sustainability and Ecotourism on an island, marine conservation should play a big part! Whereas the rapidly growing tourism industry rather challenged Bali’s environment – and unfortunately still does – we can now see a change in the way of how the local community is managing tourism sites. They move towards a more sustainable tourism by going back to their roots: their ancient vision of Tri Hita Karana, where humans should live in harmony with each other, their god and their environment. Even though all 3 projects are focusing on the restoration of corals, they all use different restoration technologies and methods and are therefore differently affected by tourism.

Cooking class as farewell

You could say we are mean, but of course we again wanted to make a statement by letting our students cook their farewell dinner themselves. We could have hang at a fancy beach venue somewhere in Seminyak, but this would have nothing to do with sustainability. So we went to central Bali to learn more about local species and veggies (and even picked some ourselves!) and spent a great evening cooking and eating traditional Balinese dishes

Thank you to all our participants and our collaborating partners, who have made this summer school possible!