by Imam Syuhada
KM Gurano Bintang was first commissioned in Alor under the name Kotekelema. Kotekelema is Lamaleran, a language group from Indonesia’s Nusa Tenggara Timur (East) region, meaning Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus). The boat is specifically designed for an environment educational purposes and is equipped with a library and special teaching modules for various ages. The boat served the Alor area from 2007-2011 and transferred to Cenderawasih Bay in 2012. It is now based in the village of Wasior. The new name Gurano Bintang is taken from the local language in the Cenderawasih Bay, meaning Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus). Gurano Bintang was chosen as an icon because it is an endangered species, charismatic, and can be observed all year long especially in Kwatisore Bay (aka Whale Shark Bay).
Since 2012, Gurano Bintang (Gurbin) has been delivering an Education for Sustainable Development program (ESD), involved with community outreach and awareness, natural resource monitoring, whale shark monitoring program, and supporting a WWF-ID campaign in the Bird’s Head Seascape and West Papua area. Additionally Gurano Bintang has hosted several joint programs between WWF-ID, BBTNTC (Cenderawasih Bay National Park), Women’s Empowerment and family planning agency, health agencies and education agencies from two regencies, (Teluk Wondama and Nabire), as part of ESD and Community Outreach Programs. From 2012 to 2014, the ESD program has served 27 villages in and around Cenderawasih Bay National Park, educating 2038 students in various education levels from both regencies. Gurano Bintang is also involved with outreach and environmental education in Tambrauw regency. Through it’s environmental education programs, they are promoting a healthy living style in both Cenderawasih Bay area and Tambrauw regency. The program is facilitating the primary health agency with on-board doctors that deliver a joint health program, which includes free medical checkups, disease monitoring and distribution of hygiene kits (i.e soap, tooth brush and tooth paste.). Plans are in place for Gurano Bintang to expand its function, becoming an emergency response squad team in areas where the boat operates.
To support our Gurano Bintang Program you can visit us at http://www.supporterwwf.org/program/3/gurano-bintang.html
Imam Syuhada works with WWF-ID (World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia).