As the world’s largest island country—a vast archipelago made up of 17,000 islands with over 34,000 miles of coasts and hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups—Indonesia is endowed with natural richness. It has the world’s second longest coastline, one of the world’s largest tracks of mangroves, and the second-largest area of coral reefs in the world; in fact, 97% of Indonesia’s coral reefs are located within territorial waters (0-12 nautical miles from shore).
The coastal fishers and fisheries that depend on these essential natural assets form a key part of the nation’s cultural heritage and economy. 80 percent of Indonesia’s 2.4 million fishers are small-scale coastal fishers, using small boats and simple gears to fish in nearshore areas for food and income. These fishers account for over half of Indonesia’s total wild fish production.
Unsustainable and poorly-regulated fishing practices, poor enforcement and governance, degradation of essential fish habitat, and external stressors such as climate change severely threaten the coastal fisheries on which Indonesia’s coastal fishing communities depend. Declining fisheries destabilize nationwide development efforts and pose a material threat to Indonesia’s economy, as well as the food security and livelihoods of millions of people. The first to feel the impacts of these depleted resources are coastal fishers and their families and communities.
Rare’s Fish Forever program seeks to restore the world’s coastal fisheries and the habitats on which they depend. It is a community-led solution to revitalize coastal marine habitats, protect biodiversity, and boost the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide, ensuring an essential source of protein for a billion more.
With program implementation focused at the subnational level, in Indonesia’s Southeast Sulawesi and West Papua provinces, Rare works with fishing communities and local to national governments to:
Adopt more sustainable and better regulated fishing behaviors
Build and strengthen community-based management of coastal fisheries
Establish managed access areas that provide clear rights to specific communities to fish in certain areas, and protected no-take marine reserves and exclusive fishing zones to replenish and sustain fish populations
Enact policy and financing incentives to sustain change over the long-term
To deliver upon the above, Fish Forever in Indonesia aims to:
Establish managed access with reserve areas to guarantee that social and economic benefits from coastal fisheries are retained and sustained by coastal communities;
Ensure that policy and governance frameworks provide the legal, functional, and financial sustainability of managed access with reserves;
Unlock capital to support the costs of adopting sustainable fishing behaviors by coastal communities and mechanisms to fund local fisheries management; and
Integrate behavioral insights and social marketing into program design and delivery to drive the adoption of environmental stewardship and new social norms.
The Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment & Forestry and Rare commit to developing a breakthrough on marine conservation area management, together with the local fishers, to strengthen their sense of belonging and to preserve their ocean as their source of food and income.”
Agus Dermawan, Secretary of Directorate General of Marine Spatial Management, Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia
Fish Forever has developed an extensive global partnership network of over 100 organizations and institutions to make change happen. Rare focuses on building the capacities of our implementing partners to sustain this change long after Rare’s involvement ends. Rare partners in Indonesia include national government ministries (Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of National Development Planning); provincial and district governments (Southeast Sulawesi and West Papua); local government departments; fishers and fisher associations; universities (University of Haluuleo, University of Muhammadiyah in Kendari); NGOs (Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, Blue Ventures); and other civil society groups.