Why Dive Instructors Should Be Ambassadors of the Ocean

Ocean Ambassadors at the Gili islands | Scuba Diving Indonesia
Ocean Ambassadors around the Gili Islands

The Gili Islands: A Diver’s Paradise

The Gili Islands in Indonesia offer a paradisiacal lifestyle for dive instructors. Each day, these passionate professionals plunge into the crystal-clear waters, encountering a stunning array of marine life. They share this vibrant underwater world with their students, nurturing a love for the ocean and fostering new generations of divers. However, this idyllic scenario comes with a profound responsibility. Dive instructors must recognize that their role extends beyond teaching diving techniques; they must also be ambassadors of the ocean, dedicated to its preservation and protection.

The Threats Facing Our Oceans

The oceans are the lifeblood of our planet, and the coral reefs are among the most diverse and valuable ecosystems. Yet, these reefs are under severe threat from rising water temperatures, pollution, overfishing, and increased boat traffic. The Gili Islands are no exception. Without conscious and concerted efforts to protect these environments, the reefs could be irreversibly damaged, leading to a decline in marine biodiversity and the loss of a vital source of income and enjoyment for the local communities and tourists alike.

The Direct Impact on Dive Instructors

One of the most compelling reasons dive instructors should be ocean ambassadors is the direct impact of their actions on their “office.” The coral reefs and marine life form the foundation of their daily work. If these ecosystems degrade, the very essence of their profession and the beauty they share with their students will vanish. This potential loss underscores the necessity for dive instructors to lead by example, demonstrating best practices in environmental stewardship.

PADI Course Director Sander Buis’s Approach

PADI Course Director Sander Buis at Oceans 5 Gili Air recognizes this critical responsibility. He has made environmental conservation a cornerstone of his Instructor Development Course (IDC). By incorporating more conservation and environmental awareness into the IDC curriculum, he ensures that future dive instructors are not only skilled in diving techniques but also in sustainable practices. Sander’s IDC candidates are taught to minimize their environmental impact, understanding that they are mere visitors in the ocean who must tread lightly.

Practical Measures for Conservation

This approach involves several practical measures. Instructors and their students learn about the fragility of coral reefs and the importance of not touching or disturbing them. They are encouraged to practice buoyancy control to avoid accidental damage to the reef. Moreover, dive instructors are trained to recognize and report signs of coral bleaching and other environmental threats, contributing to broader conservation efforts.

Influencing the Diving Community

Beyond individual actions, dive instructors can also influence their students and the diving community at large. By embedding environmental awareness into their teaching, they can instill a sense of responsibility and stewardship in new divers. This ripple effect can lead to a larger, more committed community of ocean advocates who understand the importance of protecting marine ecosystems.

Active Conservation Efforts

Additionally, dive instructors can participate in and organize conservation activities, such as underwater cleanups, coral planting initiatives, and educational workshops. These activities not only directly benefit the environment but also raise awareness among tourists and local communities about the importance of preserving the ocean.

Embracing the Role of Ocean Ambassadors

The role of a dive instructor on the Gili Islands—and indeed, anywhere in the world—must evolve to meet the challenges facing our oceans. By embracing their role as ocean ambassadors, dive instructors can ensure the sustainability of their profession and the preservation of the marine environments they cherish. This responsibility is not just about maintaining the beauty and health of the reefs for future generations of divers; it is about safeguarding a crucial part of our planet’s biodiversity.


In conclusion, dive instructors have a unique and powerful position as stewards of the ocean. Their daily interactions with the marine world and their influence on new divers make them pivotal in the fight to protect our underwater ecosystems. Through education, example, and active conservation efforts, they can help ensure that the coral reefs of the Gili Islands and beyond continue to thrive, providing a beautiful, vibrant, and sustainable environment for all to enjoy.

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