01 Dec Coral Reef Restoration Task Force (CRTF) Goes to South Sulawesi, Lombok, and Maluku to Visit Reef Restoration Projects
Indonesia leads the world in the number of existing coral reef restoration programs. A recent review by Dr. Tries Razak revealed that there are hundreds of projects with thousands of structures installed underwater, and millions of coral fragments used. Restoration is a double-edged sword that could either raise resilience or cause ecological harm. The legal framework is overseen by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and Environment of Forestry, which holds the key to permit and manage coral reef restoration in Indonesia. Having visited several National Park coral reef restoration sites earlier this year, the Coral Reef Restoration Task Force, a collaboration between CTC and Mars Sustainable Solutions, closed the year by visiting three MPAs: Kapoposang in Sulawesi, Gili Matra in Lombok and Banda Naira in Maluku.
While surrounded by the beauty of each of these islands, the Task Force learned about how each Marine Park (Taman Wisata Perairan/TWP) conducted their program. Since 2012, Kapoposang has built a program together with the local community to install 350 Reef Stars in a damaged area just off the coast of the island. Gili Matra and Banda have installed more than 100 Reef Stars each along with the incorporation of other coral reef restoration methods such as concrete and bioreeftek. Each park continuously learns from each other through their communication network.
“We first started the coral reef restoration program to address recurring fish bombing issues around the MPA and to promote local ownership, especially youths,” Ilham, the coordinator of TWP Kapoposang, said. “Now, the local people realize how important the reef is, and help report bombings around the area to us.”
Aside from observing the restoration site, the Task Force also did a survey around seven islands: Kapoposang; Gili Meno, Trawangan and Air (Gili Matra); Ay, Rhun and Hatta Island (Banda Islands). The survey was carried out to identify potential restoration sites to scale up current programs. During our stay, we were involved in relocating several Reef Stars in Kapoposang, and joined the training of the community of Gili Meno in preparation to install 2,000 Reef Stars by the end of the year led by Pariama Hutasoit from Nusa Dua Reef Foundation. In addition, the Task Force team was able to conduct a discussion, survey and sharing session with the lovely TWP members. We’re very happy to be part of these actions on the ground.
Through these visits, we learned that appropriate site selection and implementation of standards of the chosen method play an important role in promoting coral growth. Routine maintenance and monitoring as well as sustainable financing are also crucial aspects in ensuring effective management. Another factor not to be overlooked is sharing information to people who might not be involved in the program, for example through code of conduct signage and outreach events meant for stakeholders and a wider audience such as students, tourists, tourism operators, youth, women and other community members.
We’ve encountered great interest and enthusiasm for learning during our journey these past two years. We hope that the Coral Reef Restoration Task Force can be a bridge that connects various organizations and strengthens collaboration within the Coral Triangle.
Text: Eureka Amadea
Photos: Marthen welly/CTC, Eureka Amadea/CTC, Mars Sustainable Solutions