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SEA WOMEN OF MELANESIA PROGRAM
- The Solomon Islands -

with the

CORAL SEA FOUNDATION &

DIVE MUNDA

YOUR INVITATION 

26 OCT to 2  NOV or 2 NOV to 9 NOV

- 7 NIGHTS -

or

26 October to 9 November 2019

- 14 NIGHTS -



The CORAL SEA FOUNDATION & DIVE MUNDA have come together to offer the first Sea Women of Melanesia program in the Solomon Islands. Taking the successful program from Papua New Guinea & applying it with Dive Munda will ensure that the pristine marine environment in the Solomon Islands will be taken care of in the future.

The diving in Munda (Western Province ) is special, with spectacular walls dropping off to over 600 meters. Grey, Blacktip & Whitetip Reef sharks routinely patrol, while eagle rays, barracuda, & other pelagics cruise past. For macro fans, smaller critters such as pygmy seahorses, squat lobsters & fiery dartfish are also in abundance. Munda’s reefs are in pristine condition, with lush hard & soft corals and gigantic sea fans. For this reason, there is an urgent need for more marine reserves & Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA’s) within the Munda Island surrounds. The Coral Sea Foundation (CSF) & Dive Munda is committed to grassroots engagement with the local communities to meet this need.

THE SEA WOMEN OF MELANESIA (SWoM) PROGRAM provides indigenous women with training in conservation theory, scuba diving & marine biology survey techniques so they have the skills to communicate the need for marine reserves to their local communities & are able to identify areas suitable for marine protected areas for future conservation. Using the collaboration of previous programs, like the program with the Conflict Island Conservation Initiative in Papua New Guinea, the Dive Munda & CSF teams will adapt the program, to the Solomon Islands. This will ensure that the program will successfully train Solomon Island indigenous women, which will then lead to greater results in community engagement, & raise awareness of the role women can play in marine conservation. This has been proven in Papua New Guinea & will prove to be the case, here in the Solomon Islands as well. 

Building on this success, a TWO-WEEK training program for Sea Women of Melanesia, will run at Dive Munda, The Solomon Islands, beginning on the 26 OCTOBER until the 09 NOVEMBER 2019.

Dive Munda has made significant progress already within local communities, & will offer several local women from the area places as well as some local dive staff. The OBJECTIVES are to deliver these women a training program that covers fish & coral identification, marine survey techniques, LMMA theory, & guidelines for community engagement. Coral sea foundation CEO DR ANDY LEWIS will lead the marine science education program, with support from Dive Munda staff & the senior SWoM dive instructor & biologist NAOMI LONGA.

Dive Munda & the Coral Sea Foundation would like to OFFER YOU THIS OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN THEM, for the FULL 14 -NIGHT COURSE. or A SEVEN-NIGHT OPTION.

Stay in Agnes Gateway Hotel, where Dive Munda is located, close to reefs, town & the training facilities.

Not only will you experience absolutely amazing diving, but you will also be

SUPPORTING MARINE CONSERVATION  & the EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS.

JOIN US

THE LEADERS


DR ANDY LEWIS is one of the most skilled & widely travelled ecotourism professionals in the Indo-Pacific region.

With a strong background in small ship adventure cruising, he managed the ecotourism activities aboard the luxury vessel True North for over a decade, exploring, delivering outstanding guest experiences across a wide variety of tropical locations, from the Rowley Shoals, the Kimberley's, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia; Komodo, Raja Ampat, and West Papua in Indonesia; the Bismarck Sea and Louisiade Archipelago in PNG; and the Western Province of Solomon Islands.  With a PhD in coral reef ecology from James Cook University, extensive experience in scuba diving, surfing & kiteboarding in tropical locations, matched with his expert underwater photography skills & engaging public speaking, Andy’s passion for the reefs, islands & people of the South-Pacific is tangible. This passion drives the development of the Coral Sea Foundation as a platform for delivering the vision for sustainable reef management & the ultimate marine ecotourism experience.

Dr Andy Lewis

CEO - Coral Sea Foundation

MISS NAOMI LONGA  is a Papua New Guinean woman from the Island of New Britain, located in the North-Eastern part of Papua New Guinea.

The youngest of six children, she grew up swimming in the Bismarck Sea with the incredible coral reefs of Kimbe Bay at her doorstep. Inspired by the sea, she went on to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Papua New Guinea, and completed her Open Water Diver certificate at the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative facility in the Louisiade Archipelago. Naomi has worked with both Walindi Plantation Dive Resort and the Mahonia Na Dari conservation organisation in Kimbe and has just completed her Dive Instructor training with Pleasure Divers on Magnetic Island.

Her drive & determination for keeping a pristine marine environment in her home, matched with her knowledge & understanding of the difficult cultural forces at play in  Papua New Guinea make her the ideal mentor for the next generation of Sea Women of Melanesia. 


Miss Naomi Longa

Director - Sea Women of Melanesia Program

MRS BELINDA BOTHA  is a passionate advocate for the conservation, as well as the continuing education, of the marine environment.

Coming from  an HR Management background, she found that the corporate world lacked excitement & wanted to do more for conservation & women. She trained as a dive Instructor for PADI & SSI, which lead to working as a Cruise Director on the Solomon Islands Dive Explorer. This created her affection for the Solomon Islands, so much so she became a founding partner in Dive Munda.

Dive Munda has created opportunities for the local youth, trained them & they are now part of the Dive Munda team. She works ferociously towards protecting & preserving not only the amazing natural resources (above & below the water) but also the traditional & Kastom cultures of the Solomon Islanders.

Belinda is looking forward to teaching the ladies how to dive & become reef advocates

Miss Belinda Botha

Dive Munda - Operations Manager/ SWoM Trainer

MISS  EUNA ZIO  is a Munda local lady whose curiosity was sparked by her time working at the Agnes Hotel, which offered scuba diving as an activity. She was blown away by the reefs & marine life.

Against the “stigma” of “unsafe & a man's job” she learnt to scuba dive. She has continued her training & become the second dive instructor in the Solomon Islands.

“From the moment I met Euna, I knew I had to provide her with the resources to grow and develop so she could empower others,” says Belinda Botha,

Today she is a strong advocate of conservation & local women’s empowerment. She visits, conducts, outreach programs & speaks with girls about career choices but, most importantly, about protecting the ocean & reducing plastic.

 “Every day I have this gift, the opportunity to be underwater and show guests this amazing country, above and below the water.”

Miss  Euna Zio 

Dive Munda - SWoM Trainer

CORAL SEA FOUNDATION


The Coral Sea borders the Great Barrier Reef & the island archipelagos of Melanesia. This area contains marine ecosystems of exceptionally high quality & biodiversity. Our aim is to be proactive in its sustainable management,  to raise awareness of the ecological & social value as this region contains the last great reservoir of ultra-diverse coral reef in the world, yet most of it is remote and rarely visited, and is in urgent need of our assistance. Combining an ethos of science, ecotourism, and sustainability, the Coral Sea Foundation works with traditional owners to develop marine reserves that enhance fisheries & ecotourism resources while improving the basic quality of life of people in our partner villages. 

Several UN studies have shown that educating girls & young women in developing nations is a very practical way of achieving positive outcomes in environmental management, along with a slew of other social benefits. At the Coral Sea Foundation, we are committed to implementing that strategy in a way that benefits both the people & coral reefs of Melanesia.

DIVE MUNDA


Our philosophy - DIVE MUNDA is very passionate about our ocean & environment. We are actively working towards protecting our reefs & helping preserve our fragile marine ecosystems. Some of our islands are the last frontiers of untouched & unspoilt beauty which needs to be protected. Every responsible traveller visiting gives strength to the theory of sustainable eco-tourism. We strongly believe in educating and developing our local communities & people. We employ a group of 12 local dive guides, who have come through our training system, & continue to develop youth within our villages.

The Dive Munda goal, with Sea Women of Melanesia (SWoM) Program, is to train, provide continuing support, & help the ladies to promote awareness within their communities about Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA’s) & their benefit’s. As well as to provide the support for the SWoM women on their journey to becoming diving professionals & marine advocates for The Solomon Islands, especially around the Munda, Western Province, area.

About the Sea Women of Melanesia Program


The program is run jointly by Dive Munda & The Coral Sea Foundation. Dive Munda will be responsible for the diving certification under SSI, with both organisations lending their knowledge on surveying techniques, coral identification & conservation techniques.

The goal of the program is to train intelligent & determined young Melanesian women in conservation theory, scuba diving & marine biology survey techniques so they have the skills to communicate & identify, the need for Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA’s) & their benefit’s, to their local communities. 

The program will have snorkel & diving activities in the mornings with some theory and classroom-based activities in the afternoons. The sessions will be varied but informative to keep it educational as well as entertaining. If you Join us you can attend where you wish. 

What your participation will mean for the Sea Women :

  • Funding for the Sea Women to attend at no cost to them
  • Learn coral survey techniques
  • Learn to dive course - SSI certification + AOW 
  • Become a role model for their villages
  • Learn First Aid
  • Learn to identify areas which need protection
  • Become an advocate for their local reefs - in the sense they will advocate protection & sustainability 

AGNES GATEWAY HOTEL


AGNES GATEWAY HOTEL, proudly owned by a Solomon Islands’ family, in the heart of Munda, on the shore of the Roviana Lagoon, has provided memorable hospitality for more than fifty years. Visitors can experience world-class diving & authentic cultural experiences.

The comfortable rooms are in the “Solomon Island Style” adorned with pacific style decorations. Their spacious restaurant/ bar dining area is fanned by sea breezes & offers 180-degree panoramic views of the lagoon. A perfect place to relax watch the sunset.

The Hotel Inclusions

Stay in a twin-share Ibibu Cottage, situated on the ground floor with a lagoon view.  Each cottage is spacious with plenty of space to relax in your downtime. 

Of course, there is amazing diving! Each day you will have the opportunity to go out with the Sea Woman to dive, take part in conducting surveys or just have a leisure dive with your local guide. Either way, two dives per day with a guide is included. 

Inclusions:

  • Return Munda Airport to hotel & return transfers
  • Twin-share Ibibu Cottage
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner 
  • Traditional Kastom Lunch & final night BBQ, with traditional dancing
  • Two boat dives per day with a local guide, tanks & weights ( gear available for hire)
  • Skull Island excursion
  • Participate with the Sea Woman program or choose a day of leisure, you decide

PARTNERS


The Coral Sea Foundation promotes, educates & runs programs for local communities to look after their coral reefs so that the community & the reef can survive in a sustainable way.
Dive Munda the provider of the SWoM Program in the Solomon Islands