The purpose of this project is to restore former aquaculture farms to their original state
Project duration > 3 years
Start date > December 2013
Planned completion date > November 2016
Beneficiaries > the 1,716 residents of the village of Balang Datu and the 3,300 inhabitants of Tanakeke Island, as well as the scientific community
Following the aquaculture boom in the 1990s, Tanakeke Island lost more than 70% of its mangroves, which were decimated from 1,770 to 500 hectares. This destruction substantially reduced the local biodiversity. Today, as a result of the industry crisis, 80% of aquaculture farms have been abandoned, threatening local subsistence activities. The island’s 3,300 inhabitants are employed in work which is dependent on the sea (mainly growing algae, fishing, etc.) and, therefore, on the sound ecological condition of the ecosystems. The mangroves also constitute one of the main sources of wood for fuel, resulting in unsustainable cutting. A major 5-year “RCL” programme, which started in 2010 at 64 locations in South Sulawesi, has enabled the restoration of 400 hectares of mangroves. However, not all areas have benefited from this project.
The project is intended for the communities of the new village of Balang Datu and its 6 sub-villages, accounting for 1,716 inhabitants (410 households). The goal is to convert 100 hectares of abandoned pools into mangrove, thus restoring an ecological balance that will contribute to maintaining the adjacent seagrasses (2 potential sites) and the generation of natural resources. Another goal is to educate local communities, both children and adults, as well as institutions to develop a recognised local regulatory system ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources. Finally, a scientific programme will improve knowledge of the environments in question (seagrasses and mangroves), particularly the carbon storage capacity of these ecosystems.
In this context, the project will undertake to restore and preserve the damaged ecosystems of Tanakeke Island (mangroves and seagrasses) by encouraging community involvement.
Ecological restoration of the mangroves: improving the mangrove ecosystem by involving the local community in its rehabilitation; educating and informing local communities about the advantages of rehabilitating and preserving the mangroves; understanding the dynamics of long-term carbon storage in this ecosystem.
Evaluation and monitoring of seagrass: improving the level of knowledge and the judgement of the communities with regard to this ecosystem by involving them in the monitoring and management of the seagrass.
Management of mangroves and seagrass: improving natural resource management skills and facilitating social dialogue to develop a local regulatory system for the sustainable and participatory management of natural resources.
Educating and raising awareness in schools: improving the knowledge of pupils at primary and secondary level with regard to the natural environment by means of an appropriate teaching tool.
Yayasan Hutan Biru/ Blue Forests (YHB) is an Indonesian NGO created in 2011 to promote the empowerment of the Indonesian office of the NGO Mangrove Action Project (an American organisation, specialising in sustainable management and the restoration of globally recognised coastal areas). Blue Forests is currently involved with the Restoring Coastal Livelihood (RCL) project supported by OXFAM GB and funding from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). The NGO has also advised the Forestry Ministry on the introduction of a National Mangrove Strategy in 2012–2013 and how it could be adapted for use in South Sulawesi.