24 Jun “Art For the Oceans” Inspiring the Next Generation to Advocate for a Plastic – Free Coral Triangle

The epicenter of marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle is home for the most diverse coral reefs ecosystem in the world. Over 76% of the planet’s coral species live in this region as well as more than 2,000 species of reef fish. The Coral Triangle benefits millions of people living coastal communities not only in the six Coral Triangle countries namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, but also across the world.

To celebrate the region’s unique marine biodiversity and the benefits it provides to the global community, Coral Triangle Day is celebrated every June 9, in conjunction with World Ocean’s Day, which is celebrated every June 8. Unlike previous celebrations, this year’s Coral Triangle Day activities were all held online, giving us a unique opportunity to connect with more people across the region through social media, art, and story telling.

Coral Triangle Center (CTC), commemorated Coral Triangle Day by conducting an online art and storytelling competition called “Art for the Oceans.” The activity was organized in collaboration with our partners, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries – Coastal and Marine Resource Management Center in Denpasar, Department of Marine and Fisheries Bali Province, Studio Gelombang, Bali Hai Cruises, and The Body Shop Indonesia.

“Art for the Oceans” was open to all kids from 7 – 12 years old living in the Coral Triangle. The participants were invited to create an artwork following a drawing tutorial video by renowned Balinese artist, I Made Griyawan from Studio Gelombang. The art work should advocate for the theme “Working Together Towards A Plastic Free Coral Triangle”. After making their artwork, the participants were asked to make a video presenting the story behind their masterpiece.

“Art for the Oceans” was launched on Coral Triangle Day, June 9, through an online talk show streamed live on CTC’s Facebook page. The talk featured inspiring stories from our partners and a short video on how to join the contest featuring art students from Studio Gelombang.

After one week, CTC collected 73 highly creative entries and enthusiastic messages. Three art works were chosen for their concept, creativity, and message in taking care of the oceans from plastic pollution. The results of the competition were then announced Live on CTC’s Facebook Page on June 20, 2020

“All drawings show the creativity and awareness of the participants about the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean,” said Rili Djohani, CTC Executive Director and one of the competition judges.

The 1st place went to Haura Amira Faisal, a 4th grade student of SD KOMP IKIP 1, in Makassar, Sulawesi. Hamira grew up in an artistic family and have previously won drawing competitions. Using the iconic marine animals, the clownfish or “Nemo”, her artwork highlights the damaged marine ecosystems because of plastic pollution. “Through this drawing, I would like to deliver a message that plastics are very harmful for our oceans. It can destroy the coral reefs ecosystems and the fish in the oceans. I hope my drawing will inspire all of us to save the ecosystems from plastic waste” said Hamira in her video.

The 2nd prize went to Gusti Ayu Ishana Aolani Nugraha, a 3rd grade student at SD 2 Saraswati in Denpasar, Bali. She highlighted the inspiring action of divers in doing underwater clean up and saving the coral reefs from plastic pollution. “We have to work together to protect the coral reefs and not throwing our trash everywhere because it can bother our corals and the fish will also be decreasing” said Gek Isna.

The 3rd prize went to I Kadek Bayu Purusatama, a 5th grade student in SDN 1 Duda Utara, in Karangasem, Bali. He expressed the impact of plastic waste in the oceans to the livelihood of the fishers. “My drawing is telling the impact of plastic in the oceans. It is polluted our oceans, lots of trash floting in the waves, threathen the fish and other marine animals and the ecosystem will be slowly destroyed. So, it will be affecting to the fishers’ catches because the is more plastic in the oceans” said Bayu.

Apart from the drawing competition, CTC also recognized the top 3 video submissions. The first place went to Gracia Aurelia, from Depok West Java, the 2nd place to Naren Louis from South Jakarta, and Patricia Asinauli Situmorang from Manokwari, West Papua.

Gracia Aurelia or Ara, illustrated plastic pollution in the ocean by telling the story of the people on the boat that throw their trash to the oceans which marine animal mistakenly eat them as food. “Sometimes people on boat throw their trash in the oceans and do not even care about that. It is not good at all. Like these turtles are eating plastics because it thinks that is food and this whale shark get stuck because of all the trash” said Ara in her video.

Naren talked about pollution destroying fisheries and also the threat of overfishing, while Patricia talked about how plastic is killing the fish and destroying the corals. The participants creatively showcased their amazing artwork with all great messages behind. They successfully touched many aspects related to the environment, plastic pollution, and marine life in their paintings. They depicted the dangers harming the environment and marine life.

Winners received special prizes from CTC and our partners including art materials, travel packages, board games, and single-use plastic alternative products. All participants also received certificates and vouchers to play CTC’s newest escape room SOS Plastic Danger.

Congratulations to all winners and to all participants! Through this year’s Coral Triangle Day celebration, CTC continues to spread the word of marine conservation to the younger generations. “We hope that the younger generation continues to inspire and take action in taking care of our ocean” added Rili.

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