MPA Management Working with Teachers to Strengthen Environmental Awareness, reported by Bertha Matatar*, written by Nikka Gunadharma**
MPA MANAGEMENT EMBRACES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
TO STRENGHTEN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN WAYAG
Reported by: Bertha Matatar*
Written by: Nikka Gunadharma**
Waisai, 25th of August, 2022. In May (2022) Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine and Fisheries (MMaF) released the results of a long term assessment regarding Wayag’s lagoon, which stated that the area is, the world’s first known breeding ground for coral reefs manta ray (Mobula alfredi). FYI, Wayag’s lagoon (northern Raja Ampat) is part of the West Waigeo Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Following that significant finding, Raja Ampat’s Work Unit from the MMaF’s Kupang National MPA Agency***, the protected area’s management agency, collaborated with partners in organizing training of trainers (ToT) for an environmental education program designed for educators from Salio and Selpele villages in West Waigeo District, Raja Ampat.
Those two villages are the nearest and the customary owners of Wayag’s lagoon and its surrounding islets. For this training, Raja Ampat’s Work Unit collaborated with Raja Ampat Marine Park’s Authority****, Yayasan Penyu Papua or YPP (Papua’s Turtle Foundation*****), and Konservasi Indonesia(KI)******, to organize a three-day event (August 23-25, 2022) at the Wayag’s Rangers Post.
Aji Nugroho, First Member of Coastal and Ecosystem Manager from the Raja Ampat’s Work Unit stated that this training is in alignment with the institution’s commitment and its main tasks and functions. Aji also added, “This event supports the environmental protection in Kawe and Wayag (islands). The training is not meant for adults only, but also for the children as the next generation of environmental conservationists.”
The three-day event successfully trained five teachers from Salio and Selpele villages, and eight Sunday school teachers from churches in the two villages. As the technical implementation for surveillance efforts in Wayag, Raja Ampat Marine Park’s Authority through its Data and Information Staff, Allan Fredrik Ramandey, stated, “The training is very beneficial for the teachers, for they are the frontliners of our education. Besides providing school education for the students, now they can provide essential, environmental materials for their students.”
After the intensive training, the educators were quickly ‘deployed’ to Salio and Selpele on the 26th of August 2022. Elementary schools’ students from both villages were invited to play with the training materials and learn about the essential ecosystems along our coast, the MPAs in Raja Ampat, and the uniqueness of the Kawe-Wayag region as conservation area. They also learned about Wayag’s lagoon being the ‘home’ for sharks and manta rays, and about topics on turtles as well.
Konservasi Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape (BHS) Manta Ray Science and Management Coordinator, Muhamad Izuan, emphasized, “The beauty, popularity and development of Wayag’s lagoon as a tourism destination has the potential to generate negative impacts for the manta rays’ pups, therefore collaborative management between the government and the communities here must be enhanced to protect and safeguard the lagoon as a manta ray “breading ground”. Izuan also added that the information related to Wayag’s lagoon must be disseminated so that people would be aware, which will lead to its protection.
As one of the partners, YPP was also involved in the series of events. The islands of Piay and Sain/Sayang, which are located near Wayag’s lagoon, is also a significant habitat for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) as it is used as their spawning grounds.
Gayus A. Raunsai, Environmental Education and Communication Coordinator from YPP, thinks that similar trainings about turtles are very important, and can also be implemented in villages across Raja Ampat so that environmental education program may be organize sustainably. Adding, “Elementary teachers and Sunday school teachers were provided with knowledge on how can we protect turtles, whose populations in general have declined significantly. Now YPP can continue organizing classes for members of communities and their children to (help) save the turtles.”
* Bertha Matatar is the Bird’s Head Seascape (BHS) Capacity Building Coordinator for Konservasi Indonesia.
** Nikka Gunadharma is the Raja Ampat Communication and Outreach Coordinator for Konservasi Indonesia.
*** KUPANG NATIONAL MARINE PROTECTED AREA AGENCY
Kupang National Marine Protected Area (MPA) Agency is a technical implementation unit under, and answer to, the General Director of Marine Spatial Management of the Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine and Fisheries (MMaF). The main tasks of Kupang National MPA Agency is to implement management, utilization, and surveillance efforts within the MPAs under its authority, which aims to preserve the marine natural resources and its environment based on the applicable laws and regulations. Kupang National MPA Agency’s jurisdiction covers: Savu Sea National Park; Gili Matra, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan MPA; Kapoposang MPA; Aru Islands MPA, Padaido MPA; Banda Sea MPA; Raja Ampat MPA (Note: This refers to different area from the MPAs managed under the Raja Ampat Marine Park’s Authority), and; West Waigeo MPA.
**** RAJA AMPAT MARINE PARK’S AUTHORITY
The official name for Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority is “Badan Layanan Umum Daerah Unit Pelaksana Teknis Daerah (BLUD UPTD) Pengelolaan Kawasan Konservasi (KK) di Perairan Kepulauan Raja Ampat.” It is a technical unit under the West Papua’s Marine and Tourism Agency, and is currently, and officially, manage six Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Raja Ampat: Area I – Ayau-Asia Islands MPA; Area II – Mayalibit Bay MPA; Area III – Dampier Strait MPA; Area IV – Misool Islands MPA; Area V – Kofiau-Boo Islands MPA, and; Area VI – Fam Islands MPA. Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority also provides technical support for the MPA in Raja Ampat that is manage by the central government, which is West Waigeo MPA (Wayag). For further information, kindly visit www.kkprajampat.com (Bahasa Indonesia) atau www.rajaampatmarinepark.com (English).
***** PAPUA’S TURTLE FOUNDATION
Papua’s Turtle Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on the preservation or turtles’ population in Papua and West Papua provinces. Papua’s Turtle Foundation visioned to “Protect and preserve all the ecological processes and/or environmental elements, and systems that supports the sustainability of turtle’s lives.” One of the focus of the Papua’s Turtle Foundation in Raja Ampat located in Piay and Sain/Sayang island, which is the spawning ground for green turtles.
****** TENTANG KONSERVASI INDONESIA
Konservasi Indonesia (KI) is a national foundation that aims to support the sustainable development and protection of critical ecosystems in Indonesia. We believe in the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships across sectors and jurisdictions to support the preservation of critical ecosystems. We design and deliver innovative nature-based solutions to climate change, using a sustainable landscape–seascape approach to create lasting impacts for people and nature.
KI established strategic partnership with Conservation International (CI), following the closure of its programmatic operations in Indonesia. From three decades of work in Indonesia, CI adapted its strategy by partnering with KI. Our partnership with CI aims to increase the visibility of successes of our work for the international audiences, and to gain access towards global network as well. Kindly visit www.konservasi-id.org for further information.