19 Feb Teaching Scuba Diving Skills to Local Communities in Sula, North Maluku

CTC conducted a scuba diving training for community members and stakeholders in Sula Islands, North Maluku, on 19-22 February 2019 as part of its activities under USAID Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced  (SEA) Project. A total of 22 participants from the proposed Buano Islands and Lease Islands marine protected areas (MPAs) attended the event.

The training was attended by our local governmental institution partners as well, such as the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Office, the Tourism Office and the Environmental Affairs Office of Sula Islands District. All community members who participated in the activity were representatives of 9 villages located in Sula Islands MPA, whose status was already a gazette through Governor’s Decree No. 360 of 2018.

During the four-days training, all participants received in-class theory, reading materials, discussion, and direct practice at Wai Ipa Beach in Sanana. There were two Scuba Schools International (SSI) instructors assisted all training participants, namely Purwanto (CTC) and Asril Djunaidi (SEA Core). The scuba diving training aimed to improve skills of all related stakeholders in scuba diving. In addition, the objectives of this activity were to equip the participants with sufficient knowledge and information about some important marine biota, and to increase awareness about the importance of marine conservation that can be beneficial for marine ecotourism sector development in the MPA.

Through this training, it is expected that all participants will have better understanding about marine conservation through direct underwater observation. Therefore, they can be more aware and eager to protect the marine resources and become the agents of change for their peers in the respective society, known as “Pejuang Laut” or Champions of the Sea.

Jainudin Sainapon, one of the training participants from Wai Ipa Village said, “The training was useful for me to increase my skills in diving and the importance of protecting marine environment. Hopefully after this activity we can be even more active to practice diving and protecting the sea.”

In the future, these certified divers can support CTC in the implementation of USAID SEA Project scientific surveys or marine observation around Sula Islands, such as being involved in Resource Use Monitoring (RUM) survey, Reef Health Monitoring (RHM) survey and Spawning and Aggregation Sites (SPAGs) survey that are conducted regularly.

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