COASTAL MANAGEMENT: MANGROVE CONSERVATION
Increasing climate change adaptability for coastal communities
We are working with coastal communities in West Borneo to develop sustainable fisheries practices to incentivize mangrove conservation. We found small communal business groups of fishermen to help them engage in better practices, begin or enhance aquaculture methods, and develop local fishing strategies.
TEMPORARY CLOSURES: A CORNERSTONE MODEL
One of the flagship methods of our program is the temporary closures of mangrove forests. Fish and crab populations have one of the fastest rate of returns compared to any biological population in the world. However, overfishing, bomb fishing, and illegal fishing have devastated marine life throughout Indonesia. We work with fishermen communities to temporary "close" mangrove areas. During these closures community members agree to stop fishing for a given period of time. This allows for fish and other marine life populations to regenerate. When the system opens, local fishermen experience an explosion of income.
Data shows this has long-term impacts for both local livelihoods and marine life. Over time, by just closing areas for 3-4 months, marine life shows a continual increase in population size throughout the year which is tied with an increase in local income.
Finally, mangrove forests have value for storm protection, carbon storage, and purification. The temporary closure methods provides an economic incentive for communities to conserve these areas.
Located in our focus area are some of the world's rarest species. We are actively working to conserve the Irrawaddy River Dolphin and the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, among other mammal and bird species in the area. We actively use boat surveys to generate data on habitat use, population size, and population fluctuation to assess how biodiversity is changing in coastal areas. We are working with local fisherman to preserve mangrove forests through our temporary closures systems which has direct benefit for these iconic species.
A MULTI-LEVEL APPROACH
Using community trainings, aquaculture, temporary closures among other methods we are supporting sustainable fisheries in Indonesia. We believe a multi-level integrate approach is needed as we seek new tools and methods to preserve marine life and promote local economies. Our conservation is rooted in local business development which we find provides sustainable long-lasting solutions for conservation and local villagers.