Valen’s Reef

Following the story of “fisherman-turned-coral-scientist” Ronald Mambrasar and his son, Valen, Conservation International brings viewers a 360 degree photo-realistic look at the thriving Bird’s Head Seascape. “Valen’s Reef” is a 2016 virtual reality experience showcasing the importance of protecting the waters of Raja Ampat for future generations through community-based conservation. The VR experience is available online or within VR viewing apps. Located in the Indonesian province of West Papua, the Bird’s Head Seascape was once decimated by industry; invasive commercial fishing and harmful methods (ie: blast fishing), along with poaching, led to a 90% decline in catch by the 1990s. Such decline in catch led to a subsequent demise of traditional fishing rights and biodiversity in the area as a whole. Mambrasar takes viewers along with him and his son to explore the Bird’s Head Seascape, which is now home again to an abundance of shark, ray, whale and fish species. Poaching has decreased by over 90%, with coral recovering as ecotourism brings in a new stream of revenue for islanders. Despite the undeniable successes at the Bird’s Head Seascape, this area is primarily showcased due to Conservation International’s direct and vested interest in this project primarily; many other areas of seascape have undergone community-based remediation.


Aesthetic/Leisure, Data, Immersive Technology, Visual Technologies