Celebrating the establishment of Conservation Areas in the waters off Kolepom Island, South Papua, Indonesia, for World Wildlife Day
Mar 04, 2023
Kolepom Island off the west coast of South Papua Province is a biologically rich area that is abundant with pristine mangrove cover and river mouths that create thriving nursery grounds for fish and shrimp, which support local community livelihoods.
Protecting such areas is important to the Government of Indonesia – and in 2022 Hatfield Indonesia had the pleasure of supporting the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) to establish a 356,338 ha Conservation Area. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded Hatfield’s work through the Arafura and Timur Seas Regional and National Strategic Action Programs – 2 (ATSEA-2).
The conservation area supports Indonesia’s global commitments – Aichi Target 11, Kunming Montreal COP 15 Global Biodiversity Framework, and Sustainable Development Goal 14. Through these commitments Indonesia aims to establish conservation areas totaling 32.5 million hectares by 2030 (approximately 10% of Indonesia’s territorial sea waters). As of 2021, Indonesia has established 28.4 million hectares of marine conservation areas across 201 locations. The new Kolepom Island Conservation Area is of particular importance for biodiversity and providing ecosystem services to local communities.
Marine biology and conservation experts at PT Hatfield Indonesia assisted the working group (POKJA) in the preparation of zoning plans for the Kolepom Island Conservation Area. Hatfield Indonesia facilitated activities between the UNDP ATSEA-2 and the Directorate of Marine Biodiversity Conservation, the Marine and Fisheries Service of Papua Province, and the POKJA during the process of determining potential conservation areas. This included technical guidance; data collection on biological, ecological, social, economic, and cultural conditions in the proposed Kolepom Island conservation area; technical coordination meetings on zoning determination; POKJA field activities; and evaluation of zoning plan documents.
The results and lessons-learned from this work serve as reference material in determining conservation areas in other marine locations in Indonesia, particularly those with characteristics, culture, and conditions similar to Kolepom Island.
As we celebrate World Wildlife Day, we are excited to see Indonesia’s progress in meeting its commitments on marine conservation areas!
Please contact Hatfield Indonesia to learn more about the process of establishing marine conservation areas or our expertise in biodiversity assessment, community engagement, conservation planning, and blue carbon evaluations.
Jim M. Webb, B.Sc., RPBio, PBiol, EP
PT HATFIELD INDONESIA