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Anambas Islands

The Anambas are a remote Indonesian archipelago consisting of more than 200 islands, located 150 nautical miles northeast of Singapore and Bintan Island. The islands are home to 45,000 islanders who rely heavily on the surrounding seas, generating most of their income from fishing and fishing-related industries. Tourism has recently come onto the map with the newly opened luxury eco-hotel, Bawah Reserve, which is located in the coral-rich Pulau Bawah, a clustered archipelago of six islands and only accessible by the seaplane.

The concept for Bawah Reserve was first conceived in 2012 by the owners who stumbled across the Anambas archipelago on a private sailing holiday. Discovering the pristine islands of Pulau Bawah, they instantly fell in love with the region, and the mission to save the paradise at risk of destruction by illegal dynamite fishing, was immediately under way. They bought Pulau Bawah and started work on designing Bawah Reserve with Singaporean designer and architect, Sim Boon Yang. Their aim was to design and build a resort which would work with the natural environment, not against it, and to see the mature flora grow and flourish. The hotel has been built by hand and during the construction, great lengths were taken to ensure the protection of the land against damage and erosion.

Bawah Reserve opened its doors in 2018 and operates the Bawah Anambas Foundation (BAF), which focusses to address three main development challenges in the Anambas: marine conservation, forest conservation and community development. The key goal of the foundation is to improve the overall ecosystem in the Anambas, and to help conserve and expand the biodiversity. Most importantly BAF works closely with the local community to educate on environmental and sustainability topics. BAF is also working alongside the local Anambas government, NGOs, academic and research institutions and other private sector entities who all have the same ethos and objectives in conserving these beautiful islands.

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Bill Bryson

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