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Bali Reef Conservation

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science student Zach tells us the unconventional story behind his placement year...

In May 2016, I was in Bali as a volunteer, teaching children how to play the drums. While I was there, I made friends with a local guy, Ketut, and we began snorkelling together. 

We started discussing our shared interests in marine conservation, and I realised that the north of Bali, where Ketut lives, was in serious need of a reef conservation program. When I returned to BU, I co-founded Bali Reef Conservation as part of my summer placement.

Since then, I’ve travelled to Bali three times, and I’m now working here for my placement year (thanks in part to funding from the International Travel Grant for students from the Department of Life & Environmental Sciences).

My lecturers have been a great support, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without their help. It’s been an incredible experience, and one that means I have no hesitation in recommending BU!

The aim of Bali Reef Conservation is to restore and conserve coral reef in a small Indonesian fishing village called Tianyar. It has been destroyed due to unsustainable fishing practices and excessive boat traffic, so we are building artificial reefs in the area with the aim of connecting two existing health coral reefs. 

We’ve built and deployed over 2,000 artificial reef units already but we also carry out other work, such as plastic recycling programs, turtle conservation, weekly marine conservation classes with local schools, and beach cleans.

My main role is managing volunteers, fishermen and teachers, ensuring that we have a lot of community engagement with the program. We work with people, educating them about how to live more sustainably and protect their marine environment. 

My lecturers have been a great support, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without their help. It’s been an incredible experience, and one that means I have no hesitation in recommending BU!

Bournemouth University is in the top five universities in Great Britain for work placements. Continue to explore the #MyPlacementStory pages to hear from other BU students on placement as a part of their study.

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