We are, as members of the Atauro Tourism Association, trying to contribute with the financial sustainability of the organisation, who currently employ a small team of Timorese to run the show with support of a consultancy team. One of the ways to do it, is to adhere to the practice of charging each guest US $2 per stay at our lodge and recommending to use their services for tours.
We will, following the association's recommendation, add US $2 to everyone's bill at the end of your stay. In case someone would like to opt-out or learn more about the association before the payment, kindly let one of our dive staff on the island know.
Work centering around the conservation of the marine environment on Atauro Island began since the year 2015, via combined efforts from the national government and several conservation organizations including Conservation International and Coral Triangle Center. Amongst the outcomes of various studies and monitoring of the island was the establishment of the “Tara Bandu” - no-take zones across defined sections of Atauro’s reefs that are agreed upon by the community to designate as Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs). Fishing activities are restricted in these marine reserves, which are protected under traditional law by the community each section belongs to.
Your Role As A Visitor
In order to encourage and support the commitment of the island’s communities towards conservation, marine tourism operators such as ourselves at Compass Diving agreed to financially contribute towards sustaining and maintaning these reserves. And thus a system was developed whereby visitors to the island pay for access to the community’s Tara Bandu areas. For every snorkeler or diver we bring into the Tara Bandu, a fee of USD 2 is paid to the community. This has been in effect unofficially since 2016 with the Adara community, and a more formal agreement was reached across all Tara Bandus in 2019. Since then, Compass is proud to be one of the biggest contributors towards these Tara Bandu collections and it is all thanks to you, our customers who choose to participate in our water activities on Atauro.