Program for Sustainable Fishing in Indonesia and Timor Leste
In 2007, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono proposed a multinational partnership to save the world’s richest marine ecosystem – the Coral Triangle. In response, the six nations of the Coral Triangle — Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste — formed the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), pledging to save the area’s declining fisheries and protect its rich biodiversity for future generations.
The initiative formally launched in May 2009, calling for the broad support of multiple stakeholder groups, including local governments, NGOs, businesses, academic institutions, donor agencies worldwide, and, most critically, the communities affected by declining resources. Rare is focused exclusively on the community component of this initiative.
To address one of the region’s primary threats, overfishing, Rare has launched grassroots campaigns at ten important fishing sites in Southeast Asia, specifically in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. All are designed to reduce overfishing in a manner that actually improves the livelihoods of coastal communities, which is the key to sustaining impact long term.
Below is a map of all campaign sites within the Program for sustainable fishing in Indonesia and Timor Leste
Our approach: scaling solutions that work for both local communities and conservation
Strengthening the region’s Marine Protected Area network is the cornerstone of the Coral Triangle Initiative strategy. However, success hinges not just on increasing the number of hectares under protection, but to an even greater extent on improving actual management of existing and new protected areas. This will require building local-level capacity and incentives to monitor, enforce, and support what experts agree is the key to MPA management – “no-take zones” (NTZs)*.
NTZs are marine areas where absolutely no fishing is allowed and which – when well managed by surrounding communities – yield greater stocks of fish to support local livelihoods and food security long term; preserve coral reefs on which tourism depends; and protect coastal areas from the negative impacts of climate change. This, of course, requires that communities have both the will and the way to adopt better management practices. More than a quarter of the world’s 4,000 documented NTZs are located in Southeast Asia, but many exist only on paper.
When developing this program, Rare and its partners began by identifying bright spots – the few places where community support for NTZ monitoring and enforcement is strong and there are demonstrated benefits to both people and nature. We then built our plan around replicating the most effective practices at ten new sites (with the ultimate goal of accelerating change throughout Southeast Asia’s coastal communities).
Potential to triple impact by design
For any program at Rare, selecting sites and partners is always influenced by the potential for multiplying impact long term. Partners for the program in Southeast Asia represent a strategic network of local governing bodies, non-profits, and national institutions with some of the best demonstrated technical, political, and community-building expertise in sustainable fisheries management. In addition, many of the sites chosen are located within very large MPAs where our partners manage additional NTZs. They are well-positioned to build on the success of this program, potentially tripling the number of hectares under improved management in Southeast Asia.
* Language describing fisheries management varies broadly around the world. For clarity and consistency a no-take zone (NTZ) describes a particular designated area of water that prohibits fishing/harvesting.
For more information on this program download the brochure: