Proudly announcing our newest Partner, The Sea People (Orang Laut)
We are so happy to welcome our newest Partner: The Sea People or Orang Laut Papua (their local name).
The SEA People (locally named ‘Orang Laut Papua’), is a field based NGO working at grassroots level to contribute to the protection of one of the last locations on earth where coral reef systems still thrive. The SEA People take a holistic approach to marine conservation. Working with local communities and combining science and technology with traditional skills and management techniques, the NGO focuses largely on capacity building; strengthening the ability of local community members to obtain the skills, knowledge and understanding required for improved management, protection and enhancement of local marine resources.
Although one of the last strongholds for coral reefs in the world, in the face of human induced climate change, rapid and unsustainable development, overuse and exploitation, the reefs of Raja Ampat face a harsh reality; the clock is ticking on their continued state of health, and in some instances, their existence. The future of local communities relies heavily upon a continued state of reef health, and given the region’s global value and influence from an ecological and economical perspective, without question Raja Ampat’s ecosystems rank as a global priority for marine conservation and protection. The SEA People aims to address local issues by taking a multi-faceted and collaborative approach to ecosystems based management.
The future of local communities and stakeholders depends upon the continued health of the reefs, and the continued health of the reefs depends upon the decisions of local stakeholders. The SEA People strives to create mutually beneficial projects and collaborations that serve all stakeholders, and in doing so, protect the most marine biodiverse location on earth.
Administrator’s note: Lynn Lawrance and Arnaud “Arno” Brival), the principal founders of SEA People, met in Raja Ampat in 2014. Arriving separately as tourists and lodged in the same Home Stay on Arborek Island, Lynn and Arno fell in love with each other and Raja Ampat. They knew immediately they had to stay and make a difference for the people as well as the environment. After 3 years working at a local resort in Raja Ampat, they collaboratively founded the resort’s own foundation for local conservation. Lynn and Arno’s work quickly garnered the attention of larger international NGO’s, including Conservation International.
As Lynn and Arno spent more time in Raja Ampat, learning the language and interacting with villagers and local authorities, their vision expanded as they gained more knowledge about community needs in the wake of Raja’s rapidly expanding tourism sector. Along with Tomi Kumanireng, a long time friend from Batanta Island, Raja Ampat, and other like-minded supporters, Lynn and Arno recently launched The SEA People (in France) and Yayasan Orang Laut Papua, an Indonesian NGO whose mission is to address the issues facing the people and the environment of Raja Ampat. The SEA People/Orang Laut Papua are committed to working with all of Raja Ampat’s stakeholders to preserve the marine environment, which will ensure more secure futures for local communities and the ocean.
Currently, The SEA People are developing much needed standard operating procedures and more efficient monitoring systems for The Raja Ampat Marine Authority, locally known as BLUD UPTD (Badan Layanan Umum Daerah Unit Pelaksana Teknis Daerah), the marine park administrative and governing body. With Arno and Lynn’s cohesive systems in place, data collected throughout the park will be standardized, making patrols and enforcement more efficient.
The SEA People’s local team, lead by Tomi, have also recently completed a reef restoration project at Yenbuba Village, where they restored a degraded area of reef, and transplanted 2200 coral fragments whilst providing some employment for local community members.
(To view the complete list of all SEA People’s projects, visit their website.)
There is far more work to be done than The SEA People can presently accomplish without the ability to grow. Funding is essential. Raja Ampat tourism is already indebted to their behind-the-scenes work, so join us in supporting Orang Laut Papua, The SEA People. Contribute to the cause by Supporting the Sea People and their Small Change Big Change initiative or check out their Wishlist.
Welcome aboard Sea People/Orang Laut Papua.