18 Apr Supporting Effective Marine Protected Area Management in Indonesia

CTC recently participated in a national coordination meeting organized by Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) which aimed to discuss the latest developments and challenges in Indonesia’s marine conservation and blue economy programs. The meeting was attended by provincial-level marine affairs and fisheries departments, and technical implementation units. Non-government organizations including CTC were also invited to share their experiences in supporting effective marine conservation in Indonesia.

The meeting, which was held in Surabaya, from March 14-16, 2023, aimed to accelerate the effective management of existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and increase MPA coverage to 30% of Indonesia’s waters by 2043. The latter is in line with the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework signed in December 2022, calling for the protection of 30% of the planet’s land and seas.

The meeting also discussed the roles of central and regional governments and partners in establishing and maintaining MPAs as part of blue economy-based programs. These efforts aim to preserve marine ecosystems, promote economic growth in coastal areas, and improve community welfare. According to the MMAF, this is a critical issue that can address various problems, such as unsustainable use of marine resources, unplanned development, and the impact of climate change, which have degraded the functions of our oceans.

On the other hand, many MPA managers and technical units face specific challenges such as limited budgets and shortage of skilled personnel to effectively manage MPAs  To address these challenges, NGOs can be helpful partners by optimizing their roles in capacity building and assisting MPA managers in implementing MPA zoning and management plans.

During the meeting, CTC Executive Director Rili Djohani expressed CTC’s commitment to support the MMAF as well as provincial governments in Bali and Maluku in improving their capacity in managing MPAs. “CTC will provide more training, workshops, and competency assessments to MPA managers and personnel as part of our capacity-building program,” she said.

For more than a decade, CTC has supported conservation practices in Indonesia through its two learning sites, namely the Nusa Penida MPA in Bali and the Banda Islands MPA Network in Maluku. Additionally, CTC has contributed in the establishment of three new MPAs in Maluku and North Maluku Provinces, the Buano Islands MPA, the Lease Islands MPA, and the Sula Islands MPA. Overall, CTC’s efforts have protected more than  300,000 hectares of critical marine habitats in Indonesia.

The establishment of MPAs can have a positive impact on the local and national blue economy by providing various economic benefits. MPAs can increase local fish stocks, thus improving fishery yields and improving the livelihoods of local fishing communities. By protecting marine habitats and ecosystem services, MPAs can also promote sustainable tourism, generating income and employment opportunities in the small islands and coastal areas.

Writers: Yoga Putra & Purwanto
Photos: Rili Djohani/CTC & Tommy Schultz

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