18 May Raising Awareness on the Importance of MPAs with Porto and Haria Communities
CTC as part of USAID Sustainable Ecosystem Advanced Project, in collaboration with SEA Ambon, as well as trainers from the Fisheries Education and Training Center (Balai Pendidikan dan Pelatihan Perikanan) conducted basic training on marine protected areas (MPA) for 23 community representatives from Porto and Haria Villages on May 16-18, 2019. During the first year of the project, CTC identified potential locations and conducted biophysical surveys as a baseline assessment on ecological status. Importantly, Haria village has also been identified as an area of interest in the zoning plan of Lease MPA. Meanwhile, based on reef health monitoring conducted by CTC in April 2018, Porto was found to have many coral reefs in poor condition (rubble) due to destructive fishing practices. Therefore, the MPA training for communities is particularly needed for influential community members in Porto and Haria.
Training aimed to provide knowledge on the concepts of an MPA and some ecosystem factors that influence MPAs, to raise awareness on the importance of MPAs and to equip local communities and stakeholders with the knowledge needed to support the outreach process in the development of MPAs in Maluku Province. At the training, participants went through a series of learning methods to ensure optimum learning about (1) Basic coastal and marine ecosystems, (2) Threats to fisheries and fish population dynamics, (3) principles of marine protected areas, (4) basic zoning design- participatory approach, (5) marine tourism in MPAs, (6) stakeholder identification and engagement, and (7) law enforcement. Participants expressed their keen interest in learning zoning design with mapping conservation targets as well as learning about fish biology, particularly about fish spawning.
One of the participants stated that “raising awareness on the importance of MPAs from local communities is not easy”. However, he would actively spread the information and knowledge, starting from his family members to the village government staff by using media such as movies. Participants also committed to deliver the information they gained during the training to “Bapak Raja” (head of the village) as well as to all local government staff.