23 Mar Dive Training Certification for Atauro MPA Staff

Atauro is a small island between Alor and Wetar, roughly 25 kilometers north of Dili, Timor Leste. For three full days from March 21 – 23, 2022, CTC Marine Conservation Advisor and SSI SCUBA Diving Instructor Marthen Welly conducted Open Water dive training and certification for nine members of Atauro Island Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Unit through support from Waterloo Foundation. Four of the participants are the locals of Atauro Island and the rest are staff of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MAF). Assistant Instructors Lino de Jesus Martins and Andreas Muljadi assisted in the training.

The Open Water dive training and certification consisted of a day of theory and pool session, followed by four Open Water dives. These two women and seven men completed the training with flying colors. Moreover, the team of Instructors, Assistant Instructor and participants were able to enjoy the beauty of Dili Rock, one of Atauro’s dive sites located in Tasitolu, Dili Municipality.

After gaining more diving experience, the certified participants will be trained on scientific diving next year and will be a part of the Reef Health Monitoring Team (RHM) for Atauro Island MPA. The RHM has been implemented by CTC in evaluating the condition reef ecosystems in Nusa Penida MPA and Banda Islands MPA Network. It has also been widely implemented by coral reef monitoring practitioners in Indonesia. The activity was a very exciting experience for us and we certainly look forward to the next level of training.  We look forward to continue to inspire and be inspired by others we meet through mutual contribution to the development of Atauro Island MPA.

Photo credit: Marthen Welly/CTC

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