Business With Purpose
Supporting the Lizard Island Research Centre and the Well-being of the Great Barrier Reef.
Lizard Island is surrounded by the 3000 individual reef systems that make up the 2,300km-long Great Barrier Reef, one of the most complex, fragile – and threatened – ecosystems on the planet. It’s the ideal position from which to educate guests about the reef and assist in supporting its conservation.
“We recognise the privilege of our location and the opportunities it presents for helping to protect, nurture and conserve the natural values of the island itself and the greater surrounding reef for generations to come,” says Greg Magi, Executive Director.
“Conservation and education about the intricacies of the reef’s ecosystem - and the various challenges facing it - underpin what we do.”
“I’m an experiential learner. Here at Lizard Island, my classroom is clear, 80°F water. I can pop my head out of the water to ask Dr. Berents questions in real time…Already I’m seeing the reef differently, better grasping how this impressive ecosystem works.” - Afar Magazine.
Providing Learning Opportunities
With education of staff and guests as a core focus, Lizard Island resort provides guests with an abundance of opportunities to explore and be educated about the reef and the national park, with regular scheduled nature interpretive walks, and presentations on marine and terrestrial systems, delivered by the resort’s resident naturalists.
Naturalists lead guided walks, sharing the island’s natural and cultural heritage, respecting its indigenous history and visiting European historical sites such as Cook’s Look, named after Captain James Cook.
Beneath the ocean’s surface, SCUBA and snorkelling excursions are popular with guests wanting to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the reef. Lizard Island’s dive instructors and guides provide detailed interpretations of the reef systems, as well as providing ‘real-life’ illustrations of the challenges now facing the Barrier Reef.
Furthering the educational focus, the resort works closely with, and supports the Lizard Island Research Station, which is a facility of the Australian Museum and is widely recognised as one of the major island-based research facilities on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Station conducts approximately 100 research projects annually, including ground-breaking studies into conservation and threats such as coral bleaching and the Crown of Thorns starfish, both of which have had adverse impacts on the Great Barrier Reef over recent years.
Guests have the opportunity to tour the Research Station and personally speak to marine scientists from around the world who share their knowledge about the health of the marine environment, their studies and what potentially can be done to safeguard the future of this diverse ecosystem.
Highest Ecotourism Standards
Lizard Island was declared a National Park in 1937, the surrounding waters were recognised as a National Marine Park in 1974 and the Great Barrier Reef was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. As such, the resort adheres to some of the most stringent operating requirements in the Australian tourism industry, managing and reporting daily waste management, potable water testing, administering strict biosecurity measures, monitoring water consumption and managing annual visitor numbers.
In addition to the mandated regulatory conditions, management is committed to environmental best practice and the resort holds Advanced Ecotourism Certification and GreenPath Ambassador Ecotourism Certification. Launched in 1996, this was the world's first - and Ecotourism Australia’s flagship - Ecotourism Certification Program. Achieving certification involved a comprehensive, independent audit of the resort’s triple-bottom-line performance, including water and energy use, packaging, lighting, waste and food sourcing.
“Continuing awareness and education are key to the future of the Great Barrier Reef,” says Greg Magi.
“Listening to our naturalists and the scientists at the Research Station; experiencing the reef first-hand, coming face to face with its challenges – both naturally occurring and man-made - our guests leave their island stay inspired. They are better informed about just how fragile the ecosystem is and how to better become advocates for the future of the Reef.”
Other Sustainability Initiatives (Our Mandatories):
Lizard Island consistently and enthusiastically seeks ways to improve its environmental commitment and works diligently with the support of Queensland Parks and Wildlife, GBRMPA, Department of Environment and Heritage, local suppliers, clients, partners and members of the local community.
- With the aim of supporting local businesses, 90 per cent of all food supplies on Lizard Island come from local suppliers. The restaurant menu changes daily and features fresh seafood (that is ethically caught) and produce from the local mainland hinterland.
- Plastic straws and water bottles have been totally eliminated from the resort.
- Biodigestors have been installed across the resort, eliminating the need to transport food waste to the mainland. Waste is broken down on-site and the water from this process is recycled into grey water for irrigation.
- Cleaning products and other chemicals are environmentally sensitive. In-room amenities are supplied by longstanding supplier, Ikou which employs earth-friendly practices throughout its operation, from wild-harvesting to recycled packaging.
- Extensive landscaping has been undertaken, exclusively using native flora species and sterile mulch.
- The onsite water treatment team, made up of experienced plumbers and sewerage/water treatment plant operators, ensures that all water treatment processes are environmentally sustainable and provide premium quality drinking water, as well as water to keep the grounds, gardens and surroundings cared for.
- Guests also contribute to the environment via the Environmental Management Charge fee where monies collected go directly towards the conservation and protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Many guests also take the opportunity to donate to the Lizard Island Research Station.
- Lizard Island is a founding member of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges Program.
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