USC helps Indonesians sustain coral islands

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USC helps Indonesians sustain coral islands

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Published on 5 October 2012

5 October 2012

The University of the Sunshine Coast will lead a three-week, AusAID-funded program to help the people of Lombok, Indonesia, better manage their most visited international tourism destination – the coral reef islands of Gili Matra.

USC academics led by Lecturer in Tourism, Leisure and Events Management Dr Gayle Mayes and Associate Professor in Heritage Resource Management Bill Carter will host a delegation of 12 government, industry and community representatives from the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) from Monday 8 October.

Dr Mayes said the group would participate in lectures and workshops at the University’s Sippy Downs campus from 8-12 October before visiting Fraser Island, Lady Elliot Island, Hamilton Island and Moreton Island to see top Queensland examples of sustainable island tourism management.

“The Indonesian Australian Leadership Award Fellowship program aims to help the visitors build their knowledge and skills to develop integrated, collaborative and sustainable practices which address environmental and social problems and better maintain this well-known tourism destination,” Dr Mayes said.

“Gili Matra is a small group of fragile coastal islands with fringing coral reefs facing major conservation issues as tourism development surpasses carrying capacity.

“The lectures at USC will include marine biodiversity, ethical policies, climate change impacts, coastal zone management, environmental impact assessments and sustainable tourism.”

Local field trips will include foreshore walks along Mooloolaba, Noosa and Cotton Tree and an inspection of Unitywater’s Sewage Treatment Plant at Maroochydore on Tuesday 9 October at 3pm after a lecture on healthy waterways and potential impacts of human development on coastal areas.

The Lombok project, worth almost $220,000, is the result of a successful, comprehensive bid to AusAID by USC’s International Projects Group.

Julie Schomberg

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