22 November 2019
By Dr Radisti Praptiwi, Centre for Sustainable Energy and Resources Management Universitas Nasional (Indonesia)

The coastal communities of Taka Bonerate Kepulauan Selayar biosphere reserve face a tough situation. They are currently overly reliant on intensive fisheries to fulfill their subsistence needs and generate income. However, these activities put pressure towards their marine environment, as captured in recent data showing the declining trends of fish catch over a period of several years. To avert further deterioration of marine resources conditions, alternative means of livelihoods and sustainable ways of living have to be promoted. This requires careful planning of marine development and conservation that takes into account the community needs and the existing environmental conditions in the area.

Over the past two years, CSERM Universitas Nasional have undertaken a series of activities aimed to provide inputs towards sustainable marine planning in the Taka Bonerate Kepulauan Selayar Biosphere Reserve. The activities were performed as part of GCRF Blue Communities projects 1, 2, 3/8, 4, 6, 7 and 10.

Data have been collected from primary and secondary sources that show the ecosystem conditions by measuring diversity of birds and marine ecological conditions, such as biodiversity, trends in fish catch and coral health index. These data provide the foundation towards an assessment of natural capital in the area. In addition, discussions with stakeholders have also been conducted to analyse marine governance in a participatory manner and explore means to improve management of marine biosphere reserve. Assessment of renewable marine energy potentials and discussion with local stakeholders have also been conducted with the aim to enable the application of sustainable generation of energy to support community welfare.

The team at CSERM UNAS have also engaged the local communities to trial a survey that was developed to explore the links between coastal living and human health and wellbeing. In a parallel attempt to explore the links between ocean to human health and wellbeing, the team has also contributed to systematic search and review of literatures across Indonesian databases in exploring the effects that management of marine areas have on human health and wellbeing.   

CSERM UNAS has also expanded its team to include a more interdisciplinary skill-sets that will ensure a more holistic approach to the conducting of the research programme. The future plan for research activities has been refined and formulised for the upcoming years. This includes activities that are focused on: (i) participatory assessment of ecosystem services (ES) and natural capital that will seek to incorporate community knowledge into the analysis of supply and demand of ES in coastal area, (ii) using Earth observation to map the vulnerability of coastal communities towards environmental change, (iii) systematic literature search and review to synthesise evidence regarding the impact of restoration of vegetated coastal wetlands in the supply of ES, as well as (iv) the utilisation of participatory video approach to help visualise scenarios formulated by local communities that will seek to understand the impacts of environmental changes in their ways of living.

Centre for Sustainable Energy and Resources Management Universitas Nasional (Indonesia) Blue Communities Team:

Website: https://cserm.unas.ac.id/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Centre-for-Sustainable-Energy-Resources-Management-Universitas-Nasional-104623754335501/
Instagram: cserm_unas
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