13 May Understanding Local Needs for Better Marine Resource Management in West Papua
As part of the implementation of USAID’s Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (SEA) Project, CTC traveled to Manokwari in West Papua this month to conduct a perception survey and capacity building assessment about marine conservation and sustainable fisheries. CTC conducted the survey on May 1-13, 2017 in two districts namely Sorong Selatan and Teluk Bintuni, with 137 respondents representing local government and coastal community members.
The perception survey gauged local knowledge and attitudes towards the current state of marine and fisheries issues and identified the needed information for the targeted beneficiaries of USAID SEA Project. Meanwhile, the asessment aimed to assess the existing capacity of local governmental agencies to manage a marine conservation area. CTC collaborated with other SEA Project implementing partners such as WWF and marine and fisheries agencies at provincial and district level in condudcting the survey.
West Papua is known to have abundance stock of living marine resources, such as fish, shrimps and crabs, especially in the Bird’s Head Peninsula whose ecosystem are more complex than other area with the dense mangrove forests and multiple estuaries. Some native species of shrimps and mangrove crabs are known as the world’s best and highly valued as export commodities. However, as the market demand increases, a number of local fishermen are reported to start practicing destructive fishing by using bombs and chemical poisons. The isolated catching area and inaccessible waters in West Papua has made these unsustainable practices untouched by law enforcers.
Over the next five years, the USAID SEA Project will help strengthen the local traditional laws and national regulations by disseminating information, raising community awareness and conducting behavioural change activities. The project will also support the local authorities to establish new marine protected area in West Papua to preserve and sustain the province’s biodiversity. (Photos: Yoga Putra/CTC)