Dive North Sulawesi - News
NSWA launches new marine conservation fund to educate Indonesian Schoolchildren
The North Sulawesi Watersports Association (NSWA) has launched a new joint program, in cooperation with environmental education organization Bintang Laut, to provide around 350 children and 60 teachers from villages in North Sulawesi with environmental educational opportunities, to help preserve North Sulawesi's reefs for future generations.
The NSWA - Bintang Laut program ensures that students have the time of their lives whilst learning lessons relevant to their local natural environment. They experience hands-on lessons in the park, including learning to snorkel in order to discover the diverse reefs of Bunaken National Park and the long-term negative impact that garbage has on the flora, fauna, marine environment and tourism.
Most importantly, students learn to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the reef and gain a sense of understanding, caring, and thus ownership of the marine and coastal ecosystems which will inspire them to protect and conserve their unique environment, which isn't found anywhere else in the world.
The program is being run at the Marine Environmental Education Centre on Bunaken Island. Plans for 2007 include expanding the program to offer it to schoolchildren who live in villages alongside the Lembeh Strait, on the opposite side of North Sulawesi, which is now world-famous for its "muck diving" and rich concentration of rare critters.
Since 1999 the NSWA has taken an active role in protecting the North Sulawesi sea scape through the "3 E's": Education, Enforcement and Employment efforts and these have had a very positive effect on the reefs and coastal communities in Bunaken National Park and Lembeh Strait.
For further information, visit laut.bintang.googlepages.com.
North Sulawesi Governor takes eco-friendly stance against gold mine
The Indonesian government's Governor of North Sulawesi, Dr S H Sarundajang, has publicly declared that he only wants sustainable and eco-friendly development for the island. A gold mine is hoping to begin extraction in North Sulawesi, which would mean large quantities of waste from the process being dumped on land.
In 2006 the mine, under pressure from the concerned local community, decided to reverse a decision to dump its waste into the sea between the award-winning Bunaken National Park and the famous Lembeh Strait. North Sulawesi is rich in natural resources and its unique marine biodiversity ecosystem has been earmarked for application to UNESCO as a World Marine Heritage Area.
However, the decision by the mine company to dump on land does not satisfy Dr Sarundajang; he has highlighted his concern that the technology needed to monitor the environmental impact of the waste is not adequate. He also stressed how vital it is that the water table should not be contaminated.
The North Sulawesi Watersports Association (NSWA) welcomed the North Sulawesi Governor's statement. North Sulawesi is an earthquake-sensitive area and if the gold mine were to dump its waste on land an earthquake could trigger a landslide with potentially disastrous consequences. The NSWA is asking the Indonesian government not to grant any permits for the operation of the gold mine until the mine company has properly fulfilled the legal requirement, by having an independent, transparent and comprehensive EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment, known as an "AMDAL" in Indonesian) done.
To read more on this story, contact Richard Parks at RP Marketing in the UK; email email@example.com
The NSWA establishes turtle hatchery programme
The North Sulawesi Watersports Association (NSWA) has long been aware that the Sea Turtles, which are attracted to the long sandy beaches of Bunaken Marine Park on Indonesia's Siladen Island, are on the brink of extinction.
With the advice and support of the WWF in Indonesia, the NSWA has established a turtle hatchery in Bunaken Marine Park on a section of beach where the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. To ensure minimum interference in the natural process only those eggs at risk from being swept away by high tides will be moved to the hatchery to give them a better chance of survival. Any eggs laid by turtles that are safe will be left in place but will be monitored to make sure that they are well protected and untouched during the 45-60 day period of incubation.
The chances of survival for young turtles are quite slim and the NSWA hopes that the establishment of the hatchery will boost the odds for them. It takes 35 years before a turtle is sexually mature and once fertilized the female returns to the beach on which she was born to lay her eggs. They have been known to swim right across the Pacific in order to return to the beach of their birth. When the baby turtles hatch they have to scramble across the sand to reach the sea, a time when they are very vulnerable from swooping sea birds looking for an easy meal. Once in the sea they are still open to attacks from predators.
The first turtle laid 120 eggs on 13th February close to the hatchery and the NSWA reports that all is going well and they are expected to hatch in early April. Many more turtles are expected soon as the peak nesting season is between now and the end of June. The NSWA are using the opportunity to involve local schoolchildren in the monitoring process to educate them about the turtles and their importance in the balance of all marine life.
NSWA makes Donation to Tombariri Flood Disaster Fund
In May 2006 the NSWA (the North Sulawesi Watersports Association) donated Rp35,780,000 to the relief fund for the area of Tombariri (Tanawangko) hit by the terrible February floods. The floods damaged or destroyed many homes in the Tombariri area and also caused a great loss of livelihoods to families. A further Rp50,000,000 was generously donated by Yayasan Gema Peduli Sulut and individual donations of Rp14,220,000 made up the total donation to Rp100,000,000.
Mr. Jeremy Barnes representing NSWA in presenting a donation cheque to Wem Mannopo and Ardjony Makatipu, Hukum Tua of Tombariri Village and Borgo Village (picture).
Amongst other things, the NSWA donation was used to purchase the following items:
- 52 Shovels
- 52 Hoes (pacul)
- 27 Kerosene lanterns
- 838 Books (for 8 schools)
- 72 pairs of shoes for school children
- 144 Pair of socks for the 72 children (2 pairs each)
The NSWA's hopes that its donation will assist the Tombariri community to return more quickly to normal life.
Endangered coral reef fish released in Bunaken
Feb 2006-- Bunaken, Indonesia - Hundreds of humphead wrasse were released back into the waters of the Bunaken National Marine Park after being confiscated from a fisherman who was intending to illegally sell the internationally-protected fish species abroad.
Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) also known as the Napolean wrasse is an endangered species whose trade is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The species is one of the most valuable fish in the live reef fish trade, and the rarity of this species leads to higher demand and prices (up to US$130/kg retail).
Suspecting the illegal operation for days, police confiscated over 200 specimens of this large coral reef fish, which were found in a cache kept under a net full of live grouper.
"We are grateful to the law enforcement authorities," said Luther Papalangi, Head of the Bunaken National Park Authority. "As a result of the action, the park authority will increase patrolling and management of the sustainable use of natural resources, to ensure fish stock for future generations."
Bunaken National Marine Park was formally established in 1991 and is among the first of Indonesia's growing system of marine parks. The park covers a total surface area of 89,065 hectares is an important marine area for spawning humphead wrasse. Bunaken also has one of the highest marine biodiversity ecosystems in the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Eco-region.
"Populations of this fish species are declining in Indonesia due to the increase of unsustainable fishing practices and over fishing in this area," said Angelique Batuna, WWF-Indonesia's project leader in Bunaken. "It is important to release these [confiscated] fish back to their habitat so as to maintain the ecosystem."
** Adult humphead wrasse are identified by thick lips and a prominent hump on their forehead, while juveniles are a light green colour, with two black lines extending from behind the eye. The species changes in body form, colour and sex during its lifetime. Adults are found on the reef during the day. At night they rest in reef caves and under coral ledges. This species reaches a maximum length of more than 2 metres and up to 190kg in weight.
For further information:
Dewi Satriani, Communications Manager
WWF-Indonesia Marine Programme
Tel: +62 21 576 1070
Conde Nast salutes top 'ecotourism' spots
Destinations in Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico won the top spots on Conde Nast Traveler magazine's annual "Green List", which names the best ecotourism experiences around the world.
The magazine's top three were Bunaken National Marine Park in Indonesia
, Shangana Cultural Village in South Africa, and Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.
The winners were chosen based on their environmental preservation efforts, their contributions to local culture, and the quality of the guest experience.
Equator Prize 2004 Winners Announced!
The Equator Prize 2004 Jury has selected the following seven outstanding community initiatives for recognition with the Equator Prize 2004. These communities received their Prizes and international recognition at an Awards Ceremony held on 19 February 2004 at the Seventh Conference of Parties (COP7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Drawn from a pool of over 340 total nominations and 26 remarkable finalists, these communities represent outstanding achievement in the reduction of poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
In recognition of outstanding community efforts for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation:
- Bunaken National Park Management Advisory Board (BNPMAB) and Bunaken Concerned Citizen's Forum (FMPTNB) - Indonesia
- Proyecto Nasa - Colombia
- Comunidad Indigena de Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro - Mexico
- Genetic Resource, Energy, Ecology and Nutrition (GREEN) Foundation- India
- Rufiji Environment Management Project (REMP-MUMARU) -Tanzania
- Torra Conservancy - Namibia
In recognition of an outstanding community initiative associated with a World Heritage Site:
Selection criteria for the Equator Prize recipients are outlined below:
- Sociedade Civil Mamirau Brazil
Initiatives that have reduced poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and/or through the equitable sharing of the benefits resulting from the use of genetic resources.
Initiatives that have adopted a partnership approach through linking activities with non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, the private sector, governments, research and/or academic institutions, and public or private foundations.
Initiatives that can demonstrate at least three years of successful and lasting changes in local socio-economic conditions and have positive impacts on biodiversity.
Innovation and transferability:
Initiatives demonstrating new and adaptable approaches that overcome prevailing constraints and offer relevant knowledge, expertise and lessons learned.
Leadership and community empowerment:
Initiatives demonstrating leadership that has inspired action and change consistent with the vision of the Equator Initiative, including policy and/or institutional change and local people's empowerment, especially that of marginalized groups.
Gender equality and social inclusion:
Initiatives that incorporate diverse social and cultural needs and promote social equality and equity.
MORE INFO AT: www.equatorinitiative.org
British Airways Honors Bunaken National Marine Park for ‘Tourism for Tomorrow' Award
LONDON, Dec. 8, 2003 - A national marine park in Indonesia has been voted the global winner of this year's British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards.
Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi
, Indonesia, beat more than 70 other entrants in the worldwide competition, which raises awareness of the world's leading role models for responsible tourism.
The judges assess how projects benefit the local community, protect the natural and cultural heritage, control energy and water use, educate local people and visitors and contribute towards a better life for future generations.
Bunaken's management has brought an end to damaging environmental practices in the park such as coral mining, mangrove cutting, and blast and cyanide fishing. At the same time, it has helped improve livelihood opportunities for 30,000 local residents and made education a priority, through scholarship programs and links with local schools and universities.
The marine park's beaches have been cleaned and a joint patrol of villagers, rangers and police officers established to safeguard its valuable natural resources. In the last two years live coral cover has increased in the park by more than11 per cent.
Almost a third of the park's entrance fees are used to fund conservation and development projects which are proposed and implemented by the community. The local community has a strong input into the park's management initiative, as five of its fifteen board members are local residents
Speaking about the global winner Professor David Bellamy, chairman of the judging panel said, “Bunaken is what natural parks and nature based tourism are all about. It is a biodiverse area of great beauty and importance to its nation and the world.
“The park is sustainably managed by the local community, safeguarding their own heritage, a rich living resource which they can hand on to their children. This Global winner is a perfect mix of national pride and tourism that doesn't cost the earth more than it can afford.”
Lord Marshall, chairman of British Airways announced a change to the awards program, which will in the future be managed and presented in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
He said: “Over the years, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have clearly grown in stature. From the beginning, the objective has been for the scheme to evolve in a way that would progressively increase scope, influence and effectiveness.
“Now, British Airways and WTTC will be working together to launch the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards into a new and exciting stage of development.”
Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president, WTTC added: “Travel and tourism is one of the world's largest contributors of wealth and prosperity, accounting for more than 198 million jobs worldwide. Furthermore, if developed and managed effectively, our industry can actually nurture cultural and natural environments across the planet.
“For the last 11 years, the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have led the field in promoting and encouraging sustainable tourism development. WTTC is delighted to partner with British Airways, helping to raise the profile of Tourism for Tomorrow across all sectors of the industry worldwide.”
For more information on the Global Travel & Tourism Summit please visit
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