Preserving coral reefs is essential, not only for West Papua but also for the whole world.
Preserving coral reefs is also one of the efforts to push the vision of becoming the world’s maritime axis.
Coral Reef Conservation and Sustainable Management in West Papua
Coral reef ecosystems are vital because they contribute to economic growth among coastal communities.
Not only is it a gathering place for fish resources, but coral reefs can also become centers of tourism and aquaculture.
The Indonesian government is working hard to protect the coral reef that spreads widely from Sabang in Aceh to Merauke in Papua.
Following are some efforts to manage coral reefs in West Papua:
1. Create a Coral Reef Conservation Program
The Ministry of National Development Planning, the National Development Planning Agency,
And the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries are testing a coral reef conservation program in West Papua.
The program is the Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program-Coral Triangle Initiative or Coremap-CTI.
The Coremap-CTI project focuses on managing and utilizing coral reef ecosystems and marine protected areas.
In managing the project, Indonesia received a grant from the World Bank of US$6.2 million and the Asian Development Bank of US$5.2 million.
Through the Coremap-CTI, the Government of Indonesia is also committed to strengthening coral reef rehabilitation and sustainable management, including protecting coastal and marine ecosystems.
Apart from focusing on environmental preservation, the program is also expected to improve the welfare of coastal communities,
Especially in eastern Indonesia, and encourage sustainable eco-tourism development.
2. Developing Conservation-Based Eco-tourism
Coral reefs are a tropical aquatic ecosystem with very high productivity.
One of the most potential utilization models for conservation areas besides fishery production is the development of conservation-based eco-tourism.
Some tourist objects include beach tourism in Makbon Village, beach tourism in Um Island,
Waterfall tours in Asbaken Village, fishing tours in Makbon District, and mangrove tracking tours in Baingkete Village.
3. Increasing Public Understanding
Communities must increase their understanding of developing species-based tourism in protected and unique marine biota.
That way, the community can also become educators for ecological tourism at the information center.
Local communities and stakeholders West Papua must always be included in implementing coral reef management programs.
This involvement includes monitoring the area in its territory.
Stakeholder support is also critical to ensure the asset transfer process can run smoothly. The coral reef management program can be continued with the support of the local government.
4. Coral Reef Rehabilitation
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Prabowo realized that preserving coral reefs would support the welfare of coastal communities, especially fishermen.
Coral reefs are habitats and places for various species of fish to spawn.
He said that unhealthy and even dead coral reefs would only cause a loss of fish resources.
If this continues, the fishermen’s welfare will continue to decline because there will be fewer and fewer fish.
Therefore, the Government of Indonesia is committe to maintaining the health of coral reefs in any way,
Including rehabilitating coral reefs in West Papua, which is carry out in collaboration with state agencies.
Before Raja Ampat, coral reef rehabilitation and restoration activities were also carry out in Bali.
The Indonesia Coral Reef Garden activity is part of the National Economic Recovery program, which includes coastal ecosystem preservation and tourism.
Data on coral reefs in Indonesia still needs to be improve and unsustainable.
For this reason, various methods and efforts are need to cultivate coral reefs, one of which is find in West Papua.