Marit Miners is the co-founder of Misool Resort, Marine Resesrve, and Foundation. This talk stems from the notion that “green-washing” has become commonplace in the ecotourism business, and terms like “sustainable” and “social entrepreneurship” often signify little more than marketing hype or an afterthought. However, Marit Miners and her husband have done precisely the opposite with Misool, the private island resort that they built on the site of an abandoned shark finning camp. The resort helps fund the surrounding 300,000 acre private marine protected area, the Misool Marine Reserve. This no-fishing zone is managed by the non-profit Misool Foundation and patrolled by 15 full-time, paid local rangers, many of them former shark finners.
By financing conservation work through sustainable tourism, Misool has helped to create a world where local communities are actively engaged in preserving their reef’s beauty and unrivalled diversity. The communities have seen the creation of 165 jobs and the reefs now have up to seven times the numbers of fish they had six years ago. Additionally, the Misool Foundation runs highly successful projects in recycling ocean-bound plastic, providing education for local children, and transitioning former fishermen to mariculture and other sustainable employment.