A Look at AYANA KOMODO Waecicu Beach's Commitment to Marine Life and The Role of Its Marine Biologist

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Labuan Bajo, Indonesia (March 2023) – Since its opening in September 2018, AYANA Komodo Labuan Bajo has focused on paying attention to its beautiful surroundings of Flores Sea and launched its AYANA Cares commitment at the same time. This commitment is aimed at promoting education and conservation of the surrounding oceans, particularly the coral reefs that face numerous threats and challenges.

The key objectives of AYANA Cares are to raise awareness about the issues affecting the oceans and coral reefs and to encourage guests to actively participate in coral conservation programs. Visitors of all ages can engage in educational programs, hands-on activities like coral planting, and snorkeling and diving excursions to explore the stunning coral reefs and marine life surrounding the island. "At AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach, we believe that everyone can play a part in helping to protect the environment," said Lee Miles, the hotel's in-house marine biologist. "Our resort is a hub for education and conservation, where guests can learn about the importance of coral reefs and participate in our coral conservation program. Our hope is to inspire a new generation of ocean conservationists."

As of now, AYANA's coral planting program has covered a total area of 950 square meters and includes 250 coral frames with over 2,500 planted corals. Additionally, its rope nurseries have 160 ropes containing over 1,600 coral fragments that are well on their way to growing into new colonies. AYANA's commitment to coral conservation and restoration has resulted in a thriving and healthy marine ecosystem, providing a home to numerous species of fish and other marine life.
The children of Labuan Bajo and the surrounding area have the potential to become the next generation of environmental ambassadors and champions. Given that the coral reefs around Flores island are some of the richest in the world, it is essential that AYANA plays its part in educating them through Marine Life Workshops and actively participating in coral conservation. This not only raises awareness but also ensures that the reefs are properly cared for in the future, preserving their beauty and importance for generations to come. On March 16th, 2023, AYANA invites 50 local children from the nearby village to participate in the Marine Life Workshop and coral planting program.

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To delve further into AYANA's commitment to marine life, below is a list of questions and answers with Mr. Lee Miles, the in-house marine biologist of AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach:
Q: What brings you to AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach and being its in-house Marine Biologist?

A: My academic background is in restoration ecology. For several years, I worked in the UK as a consultant ecologist. In 2009, I left the UK to become a scuba diving instructor. This job took me to many exotic locations, including the Maldives where I worked as a marine biologist and diving instructor. This allowed me to combine both my academic training and passion for marine conservation. In 2009, I had already visited Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park as a tourist, fulfilling a lifelong goal to see Komodo Dragons in the wild and to dive in the Komodo National Park. In 2020, I was lucky enough to have the chance to work here as the AYANA Komodo Resort in-house ecologist. In this role, I am responsible for leading environmental initiatives and providing educational opportunities for guests.

Q: What does a typical day for the AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach’s in-house Marine Biologist look like?

A: Normally, my mornings are occupied with guest activities such as Coral Planting and accompanying guests on our Lako Taka Glass Bottom Boat Trip. Afternoons are spent working on our coral reef restoration projects, as well as training my local Assistant Marine Biologists.

Q: How are coral reefs important to the ocean ecosystem and what are the potential benefits for humans from the livelihood of coral?

A: Coral reefs occupy less than 0.1% of the ocean surface, yet they contain 25% of all marine species. Therefore, they are an essential part of a healthy ocean. Humans benefit from coral reefs in terms of tourism, and the economic benefits that it provides. Many local people rely on coral reefs for fishing and making a living to support their families. Coral reefs also protect tropical coastlines from the power of the ocean by acting as a natural barrier, absorbing wave energy and thereby protecting valuable coastal infrastructure.

Q: Could you provide information on the key activities for 2023, including the number of coral frames planned for planting this year?

A: Key activities in 2023 include the extension of our already successful restoration project at the AYANA Jetty area, directly in front of the resort. We have already completed our target of 100 new frames for 2023 at the Jetty area, now totaling 180 coral frames. Our restoration process involves a nursery stage where coral fragments are grown into new colonies on ropes. This takes the natural process of coral regeneration, making it much more efficient, thereby producing many new coral colonies for planting, without removing existing corals from our reef. This year, our coral colonies in our house reef rope nursery area will be ready for planting. This will result in another 100 frames planted on the House Reef. Additionally, we will establish new rope nurseries in our lagoon area to further extend our restoration efforts.

Q: What will be the long term effect of the current coral planting initiatives?

A: The primary goals of our coral restoration project are to increase ecosystem function and habitat complexity within our managed coral reef areas. By restoring areas of degraded coral reef, we are bringing marine life back into these areas, by increasing coral cover and boosting invertebrate and fish numbers. This will also benefit areas outside of our managed reef, as many of our shallow reef areas in the lagoon act as nurseries for many species of coral reef fish. This will therefore provide new recruits for coral reefs within the local area.


About AYANA Hospitality Established in 2009, the AYANA Hospitality portfolio comprises ten luxury hotels and residences: AYANA Villas Bali, AYANA Segara Bali, AYANA Resort Bali, RIMBA by AYANA Bali, and AYANA Residences Bali within AYANA Estate, Bali; along with AYANA MidPlaza Jakarta and AYANA Residences Jakarta in Indonesia’s capital; AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach in Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores; and Delonix Hotel Karawang and Delonix Residences in Karawang, West Java. AYANA Hospitality is recognized for its genuinely caring and attentive service inspired by its guiding principle of Tri Hita Karana, a Balinese philosophy evoking harmonious living with one’s inner-being, other human beings, and nature. AYANA means “a place of refuge” in Sanskrit; AYANA Hospitality properties are where peace, harmony and happiness are embodied and celebrated.

Press inquiries:
Oka Ciptantio Octorama
E oka.octorama@ayana.com
T +62 812 1806 6808

Haruka Yoshimura
E haruka.yoshimura@ayana.com
T +62 812-4614-7561