06 Dec Reef Conservation Takes the Spotlight at Nusa Penida Festival
CTC joined the fourth Nusa Penida Festival on December 6-9, 2017. The Nusa Penida Festival combines art and culture with water sports, beach cleanup, and the planting of coral reefs and mangroves. Its goal is to promote Nusa Penida’s culture and responsible tourism. More than 1500 attended the event, from villagers, dive operators, local and foreign tourists, hotels, restaurants, conservation organisations and government officials.
The conservation of Nusa Penida’s marine environment took the spotlight during the event with Klungkung Bupati I Nyoman Suwirta highlighting the importance of conserving Nusa Penida’s coral reefs during his opening speech. A declaration was also signed by various stakeholders to protect and safeguard the coral reefs, an act that solidified relationship and commitment to marine conservation, strongly backed by the local government.
CTC supported the event by organizing mangrove and coral reef rehabilitation activities in which over 100 people participated in the activity. The primary reef rehabilitation activity included submerging a symbolic Balinese statue underwater and planting coral on and around it to rejuvenate an area previously destroyed by an illegally constructed pontoon.
The statue used a puzzle design, which is one of the simplest and safest ways to place heavy objects underwater. Baby corals grown in a nursery were tied to strategic places on the base of the statue with the aim to gain root on the statue and turn it into a beautiful underwater attraction for snorkeling. The baby coral will be monitored once a week for a month and then once a month for 4 months to ensure it is growing well. The corals have been tagged with a date and those that do not survive will be replaced.
Wira Sanjaya, CTC’s Nusa Penida Project Leader for Marine Conservation noted that a great part about this event was the comradeship between the dive operators, the pontoon owner, conservationists and the district leaders. He hopes that as the corals grow back and with the statue as an attraction, the area once destroyed by the pontoon will become a new destination for snorkeling.