20 Jul CTC Leads the Clean-Up Activity on Saparua Island
CTC collaborated with several local partners on Saparua Island in Maluku to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5, 2023, by conducting clean-up activities in multiple coastline areas. This initiative aimed to highlight the necessity of addressing plastic pollution and seeking solutions to safeguard marine ecosystems and coastal communities worldwide.
In running the event, CTC worked hand-in-hand with the Baileo Maluku Foundation, Toma Maju Lease Foundation, the Dursteede Community Surveillance Group (Pokmaswas) of Saparua, and community representatives from six villages. A total of 104 participants took part in the collaborative efforts, resulting in the cleaning and sorting of 89.85 kilograms of plastic waste collected from the beach areas. The collected plastic waste was then transported to a temporary processing facility in Ouw Village.
Our MPA Learning Site Manager, Purwanto, emphasized the significance of the activity in relation to the ongoing “Kalesang Dugong” project. This project specifically aims to empower local communities to protect the endangered dugongs and seagrass beds as their habitat within the Lease Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA). Purwanto also stressed the importance of translating awareness into collective action to promote positive behavioural changes.
Purwanto highlighted the impact of collecting plastic waste from the beach. “Through this initiative, we can raise awareness among local communities in the Lease Islands MPA about the danger of plastic waste to the well-being of marine creatures and ecosystems, including dugongs and seagrass,” he said.
The Head of Saparua Sub-District, Winny Prajawati Salamor, expressed concerns about the continuing problems of plastic waste and its impacts to the environmental pollution of the island, especially when not properly managed. To effectively address this issue, she emphasized the necessity of adopting a comprehensive approach that covers the entire lifecycle of materials. This includes promoting the use of recyclable and reusable materials and preventing their disposal, particularly in the oceans.
In parallel with this, the Saparua Sub-District Government is also actively working towards establishing a community waste bank in partnership with all village government officials. The waste bank will serve as a centralized collection point for clean, dry, and properly segregated waste from all households, including items like papers, plastic bottles, and metals.
By implementing this waste bank program, local communities will have the opportunity to convert their waste into monetary value, encouraging more active involvement in waste sorting and recycling practices. Currently, there is only one plastic waste processing facility in Saparua, operated by the Toma Maju Lease Foundation since 2019. However, the facility has encountered some challenges in effectively selling the outcomes of waste sorting.
To address the issue, the “Kalesang Dugong” project, led by CTC and the Baileo Maluku Foundation, facilitated extensive discussions and communication among key stakeholders, including the Toma Maju Lease Foundation, the Saparua Sub-District Government, the Environmental Service Agency of Central Maluku Regency, and PT Milion Limbah Ambon. The objective is to come up with a local policy and guidance that regulates the sustainable plastic waste collection, processing, and marketing.
To ensure the effective implementation of the new regulation, it will be formally endorsed by a letter of agreement with all village and sub-district governments in Saparua. The shared agreement will establish a strong legal framework for the operation of the waste bank and impose stricter sanctions for any violations related to waste disposal on the island and its surrounding waters. These measures aim to promote responsible waste management and enforce regulations to protect the environment of Saparua Island.
Writers: Gerald Istia, Purwanto, Yoga Putra
Photos: Gerald Istia/CTC