This three year project will support Conservation International’s (CI) efforts with an array of partners, to create and manage two new marine reserves in a magnificent seascape within the Coral Triangle, an area in the western Pacific Ocean considered the global epicenter of marine biodiversity.
Spanning more than 22.5 million hectares, the Bird’s Head Seascape (BHS) located in West Papua, Indonesia, serves as the life support system for Papua’s coastal indigenous communities, providing food, jobs, and protection from storms and rising seas for close to a million people. Despite the ecological and social importance of the region, it is continually threatened by destructive fishing methods and uncontrolled overfishing. Established as a multi-partner conservation initiative by CI in 2004, the BHS Initiative is a unique coalition between local communities and global conservationists working side-by-side to protect the Bird’s Head’s unique biodiversity while also securing the marine resources so critical to local livelihoods. To date, the BHS Initiative has successfully established and managed a network of 12 marine protected areas covering 3.6 million hectares of coral reefs and mangroves.
The Bird’s Head Seascape Initiative is a global model for successful community-driven conservation at scale. LDF seeks to build upon this success over the next three years and extend the protected marine area by an additional 70,000 hectares while also providing support for local communities and partners to effectively manage the protected areas.
LDF supports the following activities in the Bird’s Head Seascape that will significantly reduce illegal fishing activity:
- Active patroling, monitoring, and evaluation of the marine areas.
- Environmental education of the surrounding communities to build support for marine conservation.
- Developing sustainable livelihood initiatives that allow local communities to see direct benefit from marine conservation.