As the much anticipated Splinter tour is about to kick off in the UK we thought we would catch up with the person responsible for bringing it over.
Andy Able is President of the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea, President – PNG Tourism Industry Association (PNGTIA), Deputy President – PNG National Museum & Art Gallery Board Trustees (NMAG), Board Member – PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA). As such he has been a very influential in the development of surfing and surf tourism in the islands. He is on tour in the UK with the film Splinters and will be giving talks on his sustainable surfing models which help local indigenous people gain from their local natural asset i.e. the surf. As we all know in some parts of the world this just isn’t; the case, and many travellers have had the uneasy feeling of siting on a luxury boat while watching very poor local people. Andy calls the reefs “traditional resources” which when you look it they always have been, and he sees the locals as their custodians, which of course in this case they have been for thousands of years.
Tour dates are Porthtowan 27 May, London 28 May, Bristol 29 May. You can buy tickets here www.splintersmovie.org One attendee will win a once in a lifetime trip to PNG.
Carve; Can you tell us how long you’ve been surfing in PNG?
Andy; 30 years
What is the work you are doing around ensuring the local community gains benefits from visiting surfers? Is there a levy/tax on visiting surfers?
The Abel Reverse Spiral Model that I created some 27 years ago was born out of a unique situation taking into consideration the complex land and fringing reef ownership issues where the traditional resource custodian host communities own 97% of PNG land mass and out to three nautical mile of reefs.
The model was created to empower the resource custodian host communities so they do not end up like bystanders and beggers in their own land like in many parts of the world and they participate directly in all facets of the planning, development and management of their resource ( the surf) and generate a sustainable source of passive financial income through the SAPNG policy on the Surf Management Plan (SMP) of AUD$12/pax/day.
These levies are collected and reticulated down to the resource custodians and lieu of this levy, inbound surfers are guaranteed uncrowded waves working within the SAPNG SMP quota of no more than 20 surfers on any given day.
This SAPNG policy only comes into place where there is a “ commercial” surf tourism operation in place. If there is none, you can go surf where you like at your own risk. But be mindful of the protocols and respect for the traditional resource custodians as they are now advanced in how things can and should be done through our 27 years of education our people on the ground which I as the principal architect of the model do as a PNG’n and as a surfer understanding the crowding issues etc
How good are the waves in PNG. I’ve seen some pretty amazing pictures?
During the monsoon surf season, we have some of the best waves in the world complimented by our SAPNG policies that make it a surfers paradise! I will show more pictures on the slide show in UK.
Is it just for serious surfers or is it good for surfers of varying levels of ability?
All levels but surfing PNG is done on reef
What are you hoping the UK mini tour will achieve?
I hope to share my story and the evolution of SAPNG 27 year history from humble days 27 years ago and articulate the Abel Reverse Spiral Model and its equitable and sustainable benefits for our resource custodians. Also do the Q&A on Splinters in addressing core global issues effecting women on domestic violence and empowerment of women and how we have used surfing as a vehicle to bring about meaningful and positive change in the lives of our womenfolk.
Maybe I can help to share my experiences in empowering others nations and people around the world to being about change and opportunities based on the precedent model I have created and implemented first hand in PNG so that they too create a legacy and foundation for current and future generations.