Why Banggai?

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Our impact so far

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MPA network under delegated management since 2021

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MPA network under delegated management since mid-2023

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Threatened species being protected, including sharks, turtles, and corals

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Ha coral reef ecosystems aided in recovery

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Ha of seagrass protected

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Ha of marine and coastal ecosystems with enhanced protection and compliance

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Coastal community members with enhanced livelihoods

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Jobs created for MPA management staff and rangers

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Hours of local community engagement and livelihood activities

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Hours of patrols conducted

© Photo credit: Stephane Regnier

Our Vision

Regenerating coral reef ecosystems, empowering local communities to reduce poverty, and increasing climate change resilience.

Our focus is on increasing the health and resilience of marine ecosystems and improving the livelihoods of local communities living in and around the conservation area, while creating self-sustaining MPAs. To achieve this, our MPAs encompass several use-type zones, such as fisheries, tourism, aquaculture, and conservation areas, where specific uses are regulated.

With a very active fishing community, these designated areas are expected to reduce illegal and destructive fishing practices, as well as overfishing, improve marine biodiversity and contribute to food security and sustainable incomes for local communities. They also create opportunities for ecotourism businesses, community-based aquaculture, increase protection from coastal flooding and mitigate beach erosion.

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We measure our impacts using six socio-ecological Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Regeneration of coral reef ecosystems

Regeneration of mangrove ecosystems

Recovery of species from overfishing and illegal destructive fishing

Improved catch by coastal fishers

Job creation in the MPAs and reef-positive enterprises

Our mandate from the government

Collaborative co-management on behalf of local government

In 2021, the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries of Central Sulawesi Province signed an agreement with Blue Alliance for the collaborative management of the Banggai Dalaka Conservation Areas (KKP3K zone), including the three regencies of Kabupaten Banggai, Kepulauan Banggai, and Banggai Laut. The coastal area between 0 and 12 nautical miles offshore falls under the authority of the provincial government. UPTD (Unit Pengelola Teknis Dinas) is a technical implementing unit responsible for facilitating the management of the MPA as an extension of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Service of the Provincial Government.

Blue Alliance created the non-profit enterprise Blue Alliance Banggai through the support of the United Nations (United Nations Development Program), ORRAA, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to work alongside and on behalf of the government through a long-term official mandate. The programme is funded through a blended finance facility that supports our MPAs and a pipeline of reef-positive businesses involved in the Blue Economy. These businesses provide innovative solutions in the areas of poverty alleviation, reduction of coral reef ecosystem degradation drivers, and the generation of long-term income for the MPAs. The approach has been officially endorsed by the local Sulawesi government and integrates well with the work of local communities and the Directorate General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Surveillance (PSDKP).

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Being a pioneer team of Blue Alliance Indonesia, which helps government and community in managing the Banggai MPA network with an area of 856,650 hectares, as the largest MPA in Central Sulawesi Province, is an honor, pleasure, and a big challenge. Saving this MPA network means saving the future of thousands of people who depend for their lives and the future of their children and grandchildren on the natural resources within the MPAs.

~ Andreas Hero Ohoiulun – MPA Manager, Banggai MPA

Driving positive impact through daily action

As a responsible driver of the Blue Economy, Blue Alliance Banggai oversees the monitoring of marine ecosystems and implements marine conservation activities and sustainable, regenerative, revenue-generating projects through a dynamic process that relies on community-led initiatives and strong institutional support. The on-the-ground management team is proactively conserving and protecting natural resources, pursuing science-based approaches, and implementing regenerative community projects focused on environmental protection and economic growth.

© Background: Sofi Sugiharto

Our impact in the field

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Leading our Marine Conservation programmes in Indonesia has been an enriching journey, filled with invaluable lessons from the local community. The magic lies in the deep connection we’ve forged with them, and our shared commitment to empowering them to protect their Marine and Fisheries resources. Together, we’re not just safeguarding the environment; we’re nurturing a sustainable future for both nature and the people who call this place home.

~ Marian Doucet, MPA Manager

Our MPAs are within 3 Regencies (Kabupaten):

  • Banggai Regency (Indonesian: Kabupaten Banggai) with the capital Luwuk. This Regency has around 366,000 inhabitants
  • Banggai Islands Regency (Indonesian: Kepulauan Banggai) with the capital Salakan. This Regency has around 120,000 inhabitants of which about 30% are in Area XII
  • Banggai Sea Regency (Indonesian: Kabupaten Banggai Laut) with the capital Banggai. This Regency has around 72,000 inhabitants

The programme strives to improve coral reef health by enhancing MPA management capacity and capabilities and reducing the primary anthropogenic drivers of degradation of coral reef ecosystems that have direct impacts on coral reef health and communities. It starts with the improvement of MPA management capacities and growing financial sustainability through adequate upfront financial support and capacity building initiatives.

© Background: W Poelzer

Our four main fields of operation

We work in four fundamental and interrelated fields of operation, and we measure and report on the results we achieve. These are conservation and science, community development, compliance, and sustainable revenue generation.

Science and Conservation
Tompotika-Under-water-Wide-angle47_©Tompotika-Dive-Lodge
Community Development
Community-Development
Compliance
Banggai-Compliance
Sustainable
Revenues
Sustainable-Revenues

Science and Conservation

Science and conservation via research and monitoring projects

Community Development

Enabling community development and empowerment

Compliance

Surveillance and protection by raising awareness, ensuring compliance

Sustainable Revenues

Reef-positive businesses to create sustainable revenues

© Photo credit: Stephane Regnier

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Science and Conservation

Our expert science team monitors the health of coral reefs and the impact of our management interventions with comprehensive underwater assessments of fish and coral communities, both inside and outside the MPAs. Through the support of our funders, scientific monitoring is further enhanced by exploring new methods such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) for fish identification. We also partner with existing organisations to advance their work, such as sea turtle monitoring. Public awareness is a key component of our science programme, with both physical and theoretical activities such as swimming, snorkelling, and diving. Socio-economic surveys on fishing activities completes our science assessments, with rangers and community member collecting fishery data over time so as to determine MPA effectiveness and inform adaptive management practices.

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Monitoring

We monitor fish and shark populations, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests to:

This is done through Biophysical Assessments of the success of MPAs in protecting marine biodiversity. We also conduct underwater surveys of commercial fish species in monitoring stations inside and outside MPAs. In these annual surveys, we identify commercial fish species (those targeted by fishers), including their count and sizes using the variable distance method. This allows us to measure the success of MPAs in enhancement of fish biomass in adjacent fishing grounds, and to understand how this benefits local fishing communities. In parallel, we conduct fish catch monitoring programs through fish landing surveys and regular interviews with fishers to monitor the health of the fishery, as well as obtaining indicators of fishing effort and use of new gear. Fish landings are also an important way of assessing the bycatch of threatened species.

To measure the success of our MPAs in enhancing fish productivity in municipal waters, we conduct a comprehensive programme of experimental CPUE (catch per unit effort) measurements. The fish catch and size data of reef fish can assist in gauging the effectiveness of MPAs in supporting adjacent fishing areas through adult fish movement and, in turn, the positive results of management interventions.

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Conservation

We implement direct conservation programmes in and around our MPAs:

  • Monitoring and combating Crown of Thorn Starfish (CoTS) Infestations
  • Protecting threatened sea turtles: By preserving critical habitats such as nesting sites, reducing poaching, and spreading awareness, we help to ensure their survival. We are also developing at least one hatchery to help protect turtle eggs from beach predation.
  • Reducing bycatch of threatened species: We help reduce bycatch of threatened species by controlling destructive and illegal fishing practices, recommending, and promoting sustainable fishing gears and methods, and educating local fishing communities in the release of bycatch.

Research

Through funder support, we are continuously exploring new methods that might reduce the need for skilled monitors (a challenge in our remote areas of operation) and provide further insights.

Key scientific programmes and assessments include:

Important, Iconic and Threatened Species

To emphasise the challenges faced by marine wildlife within each of our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), we showcase a range of species categorised as Important, Iconic, and Threatened. This not only enhances awareness within the tourism sector but also aids in the creation of a narrative that vividly portrays the human impact on the marine environment. This, in turn, underscores the importance of Marine Protected Areas.

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Community Development

We work closely with government and local communities to identify and develop Blue Economy revenue models with the potential to sustainably increase the resilience of both marine ecosystems and coastal community livelihoods. Our community development programmes are typically linked to our reef-positive businesses. We focus on job creation and continuously measure the number of people supported and employed through the MPAs. Blue Economy solutions are not only implemented to conserve nature, but also to improve the lives of local community members.

  • In our small-scale aquaculture projects, individual households, fishery associations, and village cooperatives are involved in the grow-out and processing of sea products. Our experts work with communities to build capacity in aquaculture and business management.
  • In blue carbon mangrove restoration and conservation projects, local communities are directly involved in the primary field activities and receive part of the revenue from the blue carbon credits, to be used for community improvement projects.
  • In fishery improvement projects, our teams work with coastal communities to ameliorate the revenues of selected fishers through sustainable practices and strengthened market linkages.
  • Our ecotourism programme seeks to develop best practices and training in tour guiding, the local accommodation industry, and visitor management.

 

We also implement community livelihood programmes outside of our reef-positive businesses.

  • Capacity-building seminars develop knowledge and skills in content creation, marketing, tour operations, and customer relations for the effective management of MPAs through sustainable financing from livelihood improvement and ecotourism programmes.
  • Ongoing community engagement raises awareness of the long-term benefits of MPAs for communities, whilst social campaigns focus on education and sharing our progress across various projects.
  • We focus on job creation and continuously monitor the number of people supported and employed through our initiatives. Supporting gender equality and empowering women is a key focus across all community projects.
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Our key community development programmes include:

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Compliance

Our role as an official co-management entity is to enhance compliance with fishery and environmental laws and regulations. We achieve this through surveillance and long-term community engagement programmes. One of our major management interventions is to enforce fisheries legislation aimed at combating destructive fishing methods. We do this through joint patrols consisting of local authorities and our own rangers. This helps fish populations to recover inside the MPAs and ensures that fishing outside our MPAs is conducted sustainably.

We have also developed new enforcement strategies to improve surveillance routes for daily seaborne patrolling using both our patrol vessels and foot patrolling from our observation posts and ranger stations. The team is also trained to use new equipment including night vision monoculars and GPS. We have introduced the EarthRanger digital tool to allow our rangers to provide real-time updates on MPA and fishery law violations, marine wildlife sightings or strandings, and other relevant events. Our team consists of four head rangers, with ongoing recruitment amongst the local community.

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Key compliance support and programmes include:

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Sustainable Revenues

Our goal is for each Marine Protected Area to be self-sustaining by addressing the funding gaps that have historically hindered effective MPA management. Reinvesting profits from reef-positive businesses is a core part of our strategy. We also provide training for community members interested in getting involved in these initiatives.

A reef-positive business is a solution that reduces specific drivers of coral reef ecosystem degradation and contributes financially to MPA management. Blue Alliance Banggai aims to become self-sustaining through the development of a pipeline of reef-positive businesses in and around the conservation area, in Blue Economy sectors. These sustainable businesses will improve the livelihoods of coastal communities, reduce threats to marine biodiversity, and create tangible revenue streams that are reinvested directly back into Blue Alliance Banggai.

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Key sustainable revenue generation initiatives include:

© Photo credit: Alex Mustard

Blue Carbon

With Indonesia being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its high population density in hazard-prone areas and strong dependence on the country’s natural resources, conserving mangrove ecosystems plays a crucial role in the mitigation of, and adaptation to, the crisis. We are exploring a blue carbon credits certification scheme from the conservation and restoration mangroves through a partnership with Uba Sustainability Institute.

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Ecotourism

Through BlueWild EcoVentures, our ecotourism division, we aim to harness tourism as a sustainable means of financially supporting Marine Protected Areas and to reduce drivers of coral reef ecosystem degradation linked to tourism activities. Our approach is founded on four pillars:

  • Through our network of resort and dive operator partners, we inspire travellers to discover impactful marine travel destinations and experiences, and to share their stories and ours.
  • By encouraging travellers to learn more about coral reefs and the threats they face, and by garnering their support, we work to ensure long-term reef survival.
  • By building tourism-based social enterprises that contribute to the rewilding of the ocean by financially supporting effective marine conservation efforts, all the while demonstrating the positive impact that business can have when used as a force for good.

 

As part of our social enterprise network, and through our Blue finance facility, we have invested in Nomad Archipelago, a pioneering liveaboard business with a commitment to 'Exploring with purpose' by making a genuine difference through travel. All proceeds from voyages are channelled directly into the management and protection of Marine Protected Areas in Indonesia.

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Meet the MPA Managers

Marian Doucet

MPA Manager Blue Alliance Banggai (Area 6 and 7), Indonesia

Marian is the executive director of the Yayasan Tompotika Biodiversiti Lestari Foundation, the local organisation managing the Tompotika and Banggai MPAs on behalf of the Indonesian Government. Marian has developed management experience in the tourism industry in Indonesia by following her passion for hospitality and nature. She has also been active in the NGO space, having previously worked for the local Liveaboard Association. Her role involved ensuring a harmonious relationship between local government and the Liveaboard Association, as well as enabling conservation projects such as carrying capacity studies. Marian holds a bachelor in law studies from the Netherlands.
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Hero Ohoiulun

MPA Manager Blue Alliance Banggai (Area 12), Indonesia

Hero is a graduate of IPB University, holding a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Marine Science. He is an expert in various aspects of marine conservation, including Marine Protected Area (MPA) management, Sea Turtle Conservation, Inclusive Conservation (ESSF and GEDSI), Community-based Marine Tourism, Fisheries Management, and Aquaculture. Hero’s expertise extends to Government Advocacy, where he actively influences public regulation, planning, and budgeting for sustainable practices. Since 2015, Hero has been a driving force behind the initiation, establishment, and management of 10 MPAs in eastern Indonesia, covering an area exceeding 2 million hectares. Notably, he has taken the lead in leatherback sea turtle conservation projects at the Kei Kecil MPA since 2015 and the Buru MPA since 2016. Beyond his professional endeavours, Hero is a certified Dive Master and displays his love for the ocean through underwater photography. He is known for his adeptness in fostering relationships with government bodies, community leaders, religious institutions, and key partners.
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Meet the Team

Nurwan Lanusi (Opa)

Community Manager

Nurwan has extensive experience in the government fishery sector. As a local community representative and multi-term village chief, Nurwan's strong connections make him a true people's person. He also spearheads a community-based waste management programme and is the founder of the village tourism association, weaving together his passion for community engagement and the environment.
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Sriwahyuni Salatun

Enforcement Coordinator

Sriwahyuni has many years of experience in the NGO sector. A dedicated activist, Sriwahyuni has spent years contributing to various causes and has gained valuable experience working for the turtle monitoring programme of a local NGO. With her love for the ocean, Sriwahyuni ensures the effective enforcement of our initiatives for a thriving marine ecosystem.
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Sintiya Ade Ningsih

Administration & Finance Officer

In her role as Administration and Finance Officer, Sintiya is blending financial expertise with a love for nature and marine life. A recent swimming and diving enthusiast, Sintiya likes to discover the wonders of the underwater world. With a background in finance and accounting, coupled with experience from the government tax department, she ensures smooth financial operations.
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Wahyuda Mahendra

Communications Manager

Wahyuda has a a passion for fishery resources management and is an open water diver dedicated to preserving marine ecosystems. Since joining the team in 2021, he has successfully led various programmes, including CPUE and coral transplantation. His hands-on experience working with small-scale fishers has been invaluable, contributing to foster sustainable practices and community engagement.
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Ince Muhammad Idham Farsha

Coordinator of Community Engagement and MPA Compliance (Area 12)

Ince Muhammad Idham Farsha brings 13 years of maritime sector expertise in Indonesia, starting his career as a local geographic information expert at Pontianak Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL Pontianak). He later contributed to marine and fisheries potential identification across Indonesia with Witaris UNHAS R&D Center. At WWF-Indonesia, he managed a key location for the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Program in West Kotawaringin, aiding in community and government initiatives, including Pokmaswas group formations and developing alternative livelihoods for former dugong hunters through Spirulina cultivation. His most recent role as a Marine Biodiversity Officer entailed leading leatherback turtle research, community-based monitoring, and spearheading the establishment of the Buru Regency Marine Conservation Area.
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The Blue Alliance Banggai Rangers

Together with local authorities, the rangers of Blue Alliance Banggai are conducting 24/7/365 patrols within the MPAs, ensuring enhanced biodiversity protection and control of destructive and unsustainable fishing activities for 904,167 ha of marine and coastal ecosystems.

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Become a Blue Alliance partner and work with us to regenerate coral reef biodiversity and empower the lives of local communities. Would you like to know more? Mail us at connect@bluealliance.earth

Regeneration of coral reef ecosystems

Regeneration of mangrove ecosystems

Recovery of species from overfishing and illegal destructive fishing

Improved catch by coastal fishers

Job creation in the MPAs and reef-positive enterprises