08 Mar Coral Triangle Women Leaders: Protecting Corals in the Banda Sea Marine Protected Area

Locals in the Banda Sea in Indonesia mine for corals and sea sand to construct houses and build infrastructure. Coral and sea sand mining continues because there is a lack of community awareness, alternative livelihoods and law enforcement. There is a difficulty in sourcing construction materials because the area is remote and when sourced the materials cost a relatively high price. The challenge will be addressed by identifying and introducing alternative materials for construction based on local resources; undertaking trainings and workshops to develop alternative livelihoods for the local communities (e.g. fish processing for women groups); and raising awareness through movie sessions, talk shows and informal meetings. If the issue is not addressed, coastal ecosystems and water quality will continue to decline and coastal erosion will increase.

Women Leaders in Indonesia are Taking Action!

In Indonesia women leaders who are part of the CTI-CFF Women Leaders’ Forum Intergenerational Learning Program is tackling the challenge of coral reef degradation!

Dinah Yunitawati is a Senior Technical Officer at the Directorate of Marine Spatial Planning, Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. She is also the coordinator of the CTI-CFF national Seascapes Working Group and is part-time Lecturer at Trisakti University teaching about the Planning of Coastal and Small Islands. Dinah has a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Western Australia.

Dinah believes that while some people are born natural leaders, leadership can be learned and practiced. She expects to build her leadership qualities as being a mentor on the Women Leaders Forum, particularly in the context of communicating, supervising and innovating. Dinah feels it’s essential to inspire others to become leaders as it’s the only way to achieve the objectives of marine conservation and marine resource management over the long term. As leadership styles differ from one culture or country to another, she expects the Women Leaders Forum, with participants from diverse backgrounds, will give valuable learnings and fruitful experiences for all involved.

Sri Rahayu Mansur has graduated from the University of Fisheries, Jakarta. She has been involved in the Training of Trainers on Marine Protected Area (MPA) Design at the Coral Triangle Center; training on technical guidance with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and MPA Management Plan with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA). She works on the Banda Sea MPA in program planning and conservation activities. As a mentee, she looks forward to developing more skills to contribute to MPA management, particularly in bringing more gender equality in field work that is usually gender bias.

Dinah and Sri Rahayu understand the importance of Marine Protected Areas and coastal community dynamics and will tackle the challenge to reduce mining of corals and sea sand in the Banda Sea Marine Protected Area in Indonesia.

Dinah and Sri Rahayu combine their areas of expertise in Marine Protected Area management to lead and inspire others to raise awareness about the destructive long term effects of coral mining and sea sand mining, as well as providing alternatives for the community, therefore protecting the integrity of the Banda Sea Marine Protected Area.

The CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum Intergenerational Learning Program is being implemented by the US Department of the Interior and the Coral Triangle in Center, in collaboration with CTI-CFF Regional Secretariat and CTI-CFF National Coordinating Committees and funded by USAID.

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