Sunday, 6 September 2015

Protect our precious sea

The Coral Triangle is a vast topical, marine area stretching from Malaysia to the Philippines encompassing Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste & the Solomon Islands, of immense bio diverse significance because it is home to:-
-  76% of the worlds reef building corals, over 500 different species
-  6 out of 7 of marine turtle species
37% of the worlds coral reef fish, over 3000 species
130 million people depend on its marine resource.
It has been declared a top priority for marine conservation because in spite of its importance, it has many threats, unfortunately most of them from us and our human folly.
Poor marine management
-  Coastal development
-  Destructive fishing using dynamite and cyanide
-  Over fishing
-  Poverty
-  Lack of political will or interest
-  Short term thinking
-  Climate change

The Coral Triangle Initiative on CoralReefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) is a multilateral partnership of the six countries in the region, formed to address the urgent threats, working together to sustain the extraordinary marine and coastal resources by addressing crucial issues such as food security, climate change and marine biodiversity. 

At their 4th Regional Business Forum, Sustainable Marine Tourism Conference, held in Nusa Dua, Bali in August 2015, Reef Seen founder and owner, Chris Brown, was invited to give a presentation on the work and projects  that he, together with all at Reef Seen, has been doing to protect the seas, sea turtles and local villagers.  At the Gala Dinner held the evening before, the organizers recognized a private company from each of the 6 member countries which has successfully integrated sustainable marine tourism practices, linking these to their local communities. 
Reef Seen was selected as the winner from Indonesia. 
Our Projects

-  Proyek Penyu (the Turtle Hatchery)
-  Reef Seen Dancers
-  The Reef Gardeners
-  Temple Garden, Bio Wreck, Garden of the Gods (new dive sites)
-  Fresh Water programmes for the village
local Schools support
The Challenges in Pemuteran
-  Poverty
-  Low standard of education
-  Relying on handouts
-  Income from dynamite & cyanide fishing 

How did we do it?

-  Time and perseverance - it was slow at first but we have been doing it for over 20 years
-  Trust - observe first, make friends and adapt to the local way to be sustainable
-  Positive approach - demonstrate what can be done, not just dictate what cannot
-  Show not tell
-  Praise for effort - whether right or wrong
-  Show it benefits them - not just someone elses business
-  KISS IT (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Congratulations also to the other 5 winners from Malaysia, Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.  Keep up the good work, and continue being positive examples to others.