19 Oct Raising Marine Conservation Awareness in Lembongan
CTC recently collaborated with Bali Hai Cruises to conduct awareness raising and outreach for youths in Nusa Lembongan, Bali, focusing on the issues of marine conservation, endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) marine species, and plastic pollution. The events combined audience participation with a traditional “Wayang Samudra” art performance to create an exciting and fun learning experience for local school childrenCTC and Bali Hai Cruises held the events on two separate occasions. The first outreach was on October 19, 2022, attended by 63 students and teachers from three elementary schools in Nusa Lembongan, SDN 1, SDN 2, and SDN 3. A week later, 58 students and teachers from local junior high and high schools, including SMPN 4 Nusa Penida in Lembongan, SMAN 1 Atap Nusa Lembongan, and SMA Wisata Darma, attended the event.
In attendance at the first event were CTC Executive Director Rili Djohani and General Manager of Bali Hai Cruises Pande Ardika. We were delighted that additional distinguished guests were present, such as Ms. Amelia Ekkel, the Head of Public Diplomacy from the Australian General Consulate in Bali, representatives from the Management Unit of the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA) and the community surveillance group (Pokmaswas), as well as foreign students and volunteers from the Netherlands and Australia.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Djohani appreciated the long-standing collaboration with Bali Hai Cruises in encouraging people in Nusa Lembongan to care for and protect the sea. Ms. Ekkel also expressed gratitude for this fruitful partnership. She was happy to learn that the combination of science and traditional arts and culture could make the outreach event so lively and unique. Mr. Ardika also stated that Bali Hai Cruises will always support environmental educational events for locals.
The outreach materials were delivered through a variety of media. CTC started the activity by showing a short video about manta rays, a charismatic ETP marine species that can be found in the Nusa Penida MPA but is under threats from plastic pollution and unsustainable fishing practices. Following that, we delivered presentations on Nusa Penida’s critical marine ecosystems, emphasizing, for example, coral reefs, seagrass, and mangrove forests. Later, a mini theatrical play by the local art community group and the “Wayang Samudra” performance by the puppeteer I Komang Wardana re-emphasized our key messages about the importance of caring for our oceans and reducing plastic waste to the audience.
Throughout the events, many participants were enthusiastic and eager to answer questions. Furthermore, during the second event, teenage participants also actively asked a number of critical questions and concerns about the importance of protecting marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and ways to mitigate the negative impacts of plastic waste. We also noticed that Several participants used their social media to spread the word about the event.
The CTC and Bali Hai Cruises have made this collaborative event an annual tradition. Since 2018, the outreach has been done to celebrate either Earth Day or the traditional “Nyepi Segara” (Silence of the Sea) Day. Around 50 local students in Nusa Lembongan regularly participate in beach clean-ups, awareness-raisings, and artistic performances together with local traditional community members. However, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, these initiatives have been put on hold for the past two years.
Nusa Lembongan is part of the Nusa Penida Islands in Klungkung Regency, around 25 kilometers away to the southeast of Bali’s mainland. The island’s natural scenic landscapes and rich marine ecosystems and biodiversity, along with unique sociocultural and traditional existences, successfully attract hundreds of thousands of domestic and international tourists every year. Many of Nusa Penida’s 46,000 people rely heavily on the fishery, seaweed farming and tourism sectors as their main livelihoods. In 2014, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia officially declared Nusa Penida an MPA in Bali, covering an area of 20,057.20 hectares.
Photos: Yoga Tako