17 May Local Villagers in Lease Islands MPA Cleans River for Earth Day Celebration “Planet vs Plastic”

On April 22, 2024, CTC in collaboration with the Toma Majo Lease Foundation, conducted river cleanup activities at Naro River in Haria Village as part of Earth Day 2024 celebrations themed “Planet vs Plastics”. Naro River, a vital resource for the surrounding community’s washing and bathing needs, often suffers from water pollution, especially plastic waste. 

In line with the objectives of Kalesang Dugong Project to raise awareness among local communities about the importance of dugongs and their habitats, the river cleanup initiative aims to restore the beauty of Naro River from plastic waste. The project has identified plastic waste as one of the threats to dugongs is the degradation of seagrass habitat where this endangered, threatened, and protected species graze for food.

Twenty-four people from Haria Village youth group, Toma Majo Lease Foundation, and CTC took part in the activities. By the end of the day, they collected 12 sacks of plastic waste, totaling about 100 kg, and handed them to the Toma Majo Lease Foundation for further processes in the village waste bank. 

The waste bank was established in Ouw Village on Saparua Island, Maluku, on July 11. This collaborative effort by CTC, Baileo Foundation, the local government, a church community group, and the Toma Majo Lease Foundation aims to address the plastic threats to the seagrass  – home for dugongs within the Lease Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA).

“Protecting the environment is not just about doing a cleanup once a year during Earth Day. Earth Day should be every day. Let’s make small efforts every day to reduce waste and keep the environment clean”, said Nurul Watiheluw from Toma Maju Lease Foundation.

Through the river cleanup activities, CTC is committed to supporting small-scale efforts to protect dugongs and their habitat in Lease Islands MPA. The activities also aim to strengthen partnerships with local communities. Together, we can safeguard the Lease Islands MPA for our future generations.

Writers: Adam Putra, Gerald Istia, Purwanto, Olivia Sope
Photos: Gerald Istia/CTC

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