Scuba Diving for a good cause in Gili Trawangan

Scuba Diving for a good cause in Gili Trawangan

Is it possible to combine eco-tourism, volunteering in marine conservation, a PADI distinctive specialty diving course, and two weeks on a beautiful tropical island? With the Biorock(tm) specialty course offered by Trawangan Dive in cooperation with Gili Eco Trust, it is.

Carrying the newly-built Biorock to its new home on the Gili IslandsCoral gardening: helping damaged coral to recover. Gili Islands

In April 2014, six participants (from Australia, Finland, France and Zimbabwe) came together on Gili Trawangan to learn about coral reef conservation and the Biorock(tm) process. Guided by Delphine Robbe of the Gili Eco Trust and Siân Williams of Trawangan Dive, they spent two weeks diving and studying topics such as:

Attaching coral to the new Biorock on the Gili Islands Lombok Indonesia.



  • The ecology and biology of coral reefs and their organisms
  • The importance of coral reefs
  • The threats facing coral reef ecosystems
  • Coral gardening: turning over pieces of coral that have been broken off and placing them where they have a better chance of survival, removing Drupella snails and other predators that threaten the corals, etc.
  • Charting coral health using the CoralWatch system
  • The Biorock(tm) technology, including how to build and maintain artificial Biorock(tm) reef structures.





During the course, the participants also built their very own Biorock™ structure, shaping it to look like the logo of the project sponsor, Samba Villas on Gili Trawangan. When finished, the structure was placed in the sea just outside Samba Villas, and pieces of broken coral was gathered from the area and attached to the structures.

A healthy Biorock with colourful corals and schools of fish on the Gili Islands

After only two days, the structure was already starting to show a coating of limestone, helping the pieces of coral to attach and grow. This new Biorock™ is at a depth of around five meters, making it possible for both divers and snorkelers to enjoy, as well as protecting the shoreline from erosion, providing shelter for fish, and serving as a solid substrate for new coral growth.

The Biorock™ specialty course is currently offered four times a year. Meanwhile, the more than 100 Biorock™ structures around the Gilis are always open for visitors, both aquatic and terrestrial!

The Trawangan Dive boat, with Mount Rinjani in the background on the Gili Islands


Text and photos by Sara Estlander

Read more:

Gili Eco Trust

Biorock™ reef structures

Reef restoration programs at Trawangan Dive

Scuba Diving around Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air

Cat Clinic May 2014 on Gili Trawangan

Free Cat Clinic On Gili Trawangan

Cats of Gili and Gili Eco trust organized a free 7 day cat clinic on Gili Trawangan.

cat-clinic-gili-trawangan-may-2014-1The May 2014 Cat Clinic is now over. During one week 173 cats came to see a vet, 125 cats had the spay/neuter operation. And sadly, 7 cats had to be euthanized during the clinic.

Overall, this clinic was a success and things ran smoothly and we had a great team spirit during the whole week. And we had a great team, not just the spirit! Vets Ari, Laura, Ganda, Ery and Andryan were all awsome, as were vet nurses Riija and Emmi. We also had loads of volunteers that came to offer help. Most went running around to catch cats, some were able to help at the operating room (we had 2 extra vet nurses show up!) and some helped out in pre- and aftercare. It was just awsome to meet these people who feel as strongly as I do about this project, and who were really dedicated to help. Especially Ande, Kristiina, MG, Steve and Rhondalee deserve to be mentioned here, as they were all there every day, all day and some of them came to Trawangan just because of this clinic.

cat-clinic-gili-trawangan-may-2014-5Huge thanks also to Blue Marlin and Trawangan Dive for hosting the clinic. Thanks also to Gili Palms, Trawangan Oasis, Eden Cottages, Trawangan Dive and Woodstock for donating free rooms for our vets. Thanks to Cat Haven in Perth, Australia for donating medicines. And thanks to Sunset Vets in Bali and Animagi in Helsinki, Finland for sending us great vets and loads of medical stuff for the clinic.

We still have some cats that need aftercare, and we have loads of kittens. We have two sick male cats, Skinny Boy and Sick Boy, they share my guestroom now and are on medications. And I have a mommycat and 4 babies in my bathroom. Some kittens are staying with Ande and Kristiina, as I cannot take them all before some cats move out from my house… Most kittens have found homes already, but more homes will be needed in near future. And Skinny Boy surely needs a home, he is just a lovely personality.

Please contact me if you could give a home to Skinny Boy or a kitten!

Ok, this is it. I do not know when the next clinic is going to happen, but as soon as I know, I will post it here. Blog will be updated soon, too!

Once more: huge thanks to everyone involved, couldn’t have done it without you all!

— Susanna (Cats of Gilis)



Cats Of Gili is a project to help the cats of the Gili Islands, Indonesia. The project is acting under Gili Eco Trust (GET), an environmental organization of the Gilis. As GET already has lots of issues to handle, there was a need to have someone to concentrate on cats only. Therefore, Cats Of Gili was started, got Gili Eco Trust to support, as well as Gili Island Dive Association (GIDA) backing up. So now our feline friends have their own project, and a person who is concentrating on cats only!


What we do?

Cats Of Gili organizes vet visits every now and then, and helps to organize bigger vet clinics a couple of times a year. The aim is to neuter and spay cats, and that way get the breeding under control. We also spread information, for example via our facebook page and our blog. We collect donations, both money and supplies to help us to help the cats. We have basic medication available. We hope to find more vet volunteers and other people who want to help us. We are doing the best we can, with the resources we have.


cat-clinic-gili-trawangan-may-2014-3If you want to help….

Please contact us! Send email to Susanna at susanna.catsofgili (at) gmail dot com.