22 Feb Learning From The Front Lines: Timor-Leste Students Learn How to Manage a Marine Protected Area in Nusa Penida

Two students from Timor-Leste studying Marine Sciences at Udayana University in Bali joined CTC for a one-month internship to learn about marine resource management at the front lines. Third year students Dominica P. Jeronimo Guterres and Paula Marques Alves aimed to gain firsthand knowledge on how marine conservation is applied on the ground and how local communities are involved in marine protected area (MPA) management.

“CTC’s programs in conserving the marine ecosystems and building capacity of local communities on the importance of marine resources attracted our interest to take an internship at CTC” said Dominica.

During the internship, Dominica and Paula assisted CTC’s Nusa Penida MPA Learning Site team in conducting a Resource Use Monitoring (RUM) survey. By doing this, they were able to find out how communities and other stakeholders utilize the MPA’s resources and whether the MPA zoning system is being followed. Both students also had the chance to join the joint patrol, conducted by the Nusa Penida MPA Management Unit under the Bali Provincial Government in collaboration with the marine police and Navy. The joint patrols help ensure that stakeholders follow the Nusa Penida MPA zoning plan.

“I see that Nusa Penida MPA is really well managed through the zoning system, and the monthly surveillance to protect the MPA. It is my very first time joining surveillance and observing the condition of the MPA by myself,” said Paula.

One of the students’ tasks was to create a utilization map to show how people use the MPA’s resources. “We focused on mapping the utilizations like fishing activities as well as tourism activities in each zone. We also mapped the zoning system violations which were recorded during the joint patrols,” said Dominica.

Both students said they learned a lot during their one-month internship and took away valuable lessons that they can apply in managing the marine resources in their home country once they finish their studies.

Photos by : Dominica; Hendiliana/CTC

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