August 13, 2019, Sanur, Bali — Atauro Island in Timor-Leste is home to some of the most diverse reef systems in the world. CTC has been collaborating with the local government, community leaders and NGOs, and is now proud to be supporting the unified Atauro Island Marine Protected Area. To celebrate this incredible island, and the work bei ng done, the CTC Center for Marine Conservation is featuring a new outdoor photo exhibition—Atauro Island Community: Custodians of the Sea.
At the opening night on August 13, over 130 people came to celebrate the island and its people. The Timor-Leste Consul General to Bali, Elda Ferreira, and the CTI-CFF Interim Executive Director, Dr. Hendra Siry, joined photographers Luca Vaime and Mike Veitch of Underwater Tribe. The interconnectedness of the Coral Triangle region was highlighted by the coming together of people from across the six countries to celebrate this collaboration for conservation.
Luca and Mike spoke of their time in Atauro, and the incredible community engagement they had witnessed. As diving enthusiasts, they shared their experiences of the underwater world around the island. Ms. Ferreira also spoke of the positive impact conservation efforts are having on the economy of Atauro, and her hopes for a bright future based around sustainable tourism.
As part of their creative involvement with CTC, Luca and Mike also produced a short film, Atauro Island: One Island One Management, focused on the incredible efforts from diverse groups to unify and enhance marine and coastal conservation projects across the island. The film is a beautiful exploration of the island’s communities and people, and the life found in the surrounding waters.
You can view the short film here: https://youtu.be/X1ZOyg0K0TA