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A deep dive beyond marine tourism in Amed & Tulamben


The Karangasem Regency in Bali is known for its marine biodiversity and striking coastal scenery. The villages of Tulamben and Amed have been popular diving and snorkeling destinations since the 1980s. Apart from tourism, the people in Karangasem also make a living from small-scale fishing, farming, basket weaving and sea salt and palm sugar production. 


With people’s high reliance on the region’s biodiversity, involving the local population in  it is important to the conservation and restoration of these precious resources is paramount. Teaming up with Coral Reef and Reef Check Indonesia, Photovoices engaged villagers in the process of mapping concerns and developing regional marine conservation management initiatives in the area, The Marine Conservation Development (KKP).



villages in Amed and Tulamben participated


villagers took part behind the camera


photographs and accompanying stories were produced



The growing marine tourism in the region has placed an enormous burden on the marine ecosystem. Photovoices participants investigated the threats including irresponsible tourism, plastic waste, sedimentation, chemical pollution, and the lack of a waste management system. Participants reported that the photos captured visual evidence of the threats which propelled them to take action. 


Like in many places, trash is a major concern in coastal Amed, Bali. A major highlight of the Photovoices project in Amed was the community’s realization that the trash is theirs.  Participant Nengah Polos said: “We always thought the trash had come from elsewhere brought here by the ocean currents but the pictures we took show that it came from our own communities so we have to stop blaming others for this problem.”  

As a result, the community came together and organized weekly trash pick-up and removal paid for by local residents. The project prompted the formation of community groups designed to manage the region’s natural resources in both villages.

Apart from the conservationenvironmental issues, the project amassed an abundance of data relating to the region's infrastructure, education, health, and culture. It also identified and promoted Amed and Tulamben's non-marine potentials, such as natural trekking spots, and local products like Amed Salt, palm sugar and palmyra weavings, that can serve as extra sources of income.



  1. Regulations and zoning initiatives were formulated in a participatory process and approved by the village and the adat community. 

  2. The people of Jemeluk have collaborated with other stakeholders to build an underwater gallery (an art installation made of concrete structures and steel frames) as an alternative to existing dive sites and to prevent further damage at these sites. 

  3. Amed Salt has received the IG (Geographic Indicator) certificate from the Directorate General of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Law and Human Rights. 

  4. Community initiated recycling and waste management systems have been put in place 

  5. Sedimentation prevention measures have been initiated.


  1. To prevent coral damage and over-crowded dive sites, a regulation forbidding fishing within 100 meters from the coast line was proposed in a participatory process, approved and became customary law.

  2. Community initiated recycling and waste management systems have been put in place

  3. Residents initiated a routine beach and coastal cleaning effort as well as the development of a landfill area.

  4. Several community groups have been formed to accommodate residents’ participation in managing their region’s natural resources.


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