In 1992, Indonesian friends and colleagues established a marine research development organisation named Yayasan Rinjani Bahari. They supported LIPI (Lembaga Ilmu Penelitian Indonesia – the Indonesian Institute of Sciences) and Bappenas (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan – National Development Planning Agency) named pre-Coremap (Coral Reefs Rehabilitation and Management Program).

In 1997, its status changed to a non-government organisation, newly registered with the name Lembaga JARI. JARI stands for “Juang Laut Lestari”, which literally means Endeavouring for Marine Conservation. Since that time, JARI has been based in Lombok and has worked in partnership with the Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Water Forum (JWF)  and others. JARI has worked on projects as diverse as building water tanks, planting mangroves, educating children in schools and on field trips, and developing fisheries management strategies with local communities.

In 2000, JARI purchased land in East Lombok with the idea of building a marine conservation and education center. Ongoing land ownership issues have held this project up, however the dream continues.

In 2013, with the support from the Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund, JARI purchased a fishing boat that was transformed into a research and education vessel, now currently docked in Saleh Bay, Sumbawa Island. They gave the name ‘Yosina’ to the boat, inspired by the name of a little girl in Papua from when Boen and Sara Lourie travelled there to conduct seahorse research.