31 Mar From Bali to Sulawesi: A Journey of Forming Partnerships on Coral Restoration

A team from the Coral Reef Restoration Task Force recently completed a journey around Sulawesi and Bali to support ongoing coral restoration programs. The Task Force visited the offices of Wakatobi, Takabonerate, Bunaken and West Bali National Parks to form an initial relationship with each park with the aim of nurturing it into a blossoming partnership. We really appreciated the welcome that each Head and staff of the National Parks graced us with. It was very interesting to hear about the National Parks’ experience in their restoration projects, as well as their hopes and dreams on what their projects shall achieve in the future.

We were delighted to hear about what’s happening in Sulawesi. Takabonerate National Park has installed 5,980 Reef Stars spread across six islands since 2017. Those Reef Stars have filled in 30% of the established rehabilitation zones inside the Marine Protected Area (MPA). The project will be continued until 100% of the rehabilitation areas are filled with Reef Stars. That would be more than 15,000 Reef Stars spread across over 1 hectare of reef that will thrive in the future – didn’t it raise your spirit just imagining the possibility?

The National Parks have done really well in passing down knowledge to the community. Both Wakatobi and Takabonerate National Parks, for example, despite having only one to two staff initially trained in the MARRS method, are able to teach their own along with members of the community to carry out reef restoration using the method. Since 2018, Wakatobi has succeeded in restoring a considerable amount of area over three islands and the community of Selayar is now in charge of Reef Star production and actively involved in Takabonerate’s restoration efforts. We were happy to be able to see such great feats, especially when achieved together with the community. Bunaken National Park also manages impressively, having installed over 1,000 Reef Stars throughout four islands.

On the first of March, 2022, the Task Force visited the office of West Bali National Park for the same purposes. The park has installed 170 Reef Stars across five locations in the MPA. The park expressed the interest in building a grand design of restoration project plans together with the Task Force.
During our visits to these restoration sites and through the videos presented by these parks, we observed several areas that can be improved in several aspects. Later in the year, the Task Force is going to conduct a second visit to these locations and the information we were provided with through these meetings will help in planning future steps to be taken. It will take meticulous planning and relentless effort, and we are ready for it – all to contribute for the healthy seas that enrich people and nature.

Photo credit: Kasman/CTC, Eureka Amadea/CTC

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