​Wakatobi is a private marine reserve that has some of the best-protected and most pristine coral environments in the world. Direct payments are made to the local villages and fishermen in exchange for honoring a no-fishing zone. These payments in turn encouraged the villages to take an active role in protecting the marine ecosystem. 

It took many years of continuous and consistent efforts to build deep trust and understanding within the community to where all members of the surrounding villages respected and honored the agreement. The Collaborative Reef Conservation Program remains a work in progress, constantly expanding and being fine-tuned as the community undergoes changes and as threats and opportunities emerge.