In Bahasa Indonesian, the name Raja Ampat means “Four Kings.” How appropriate for the breathtakingly beautiful islands that comprise the highest marine biodiversity on earth.
Over the last six years, The Nature Conservancy has been working towards protecting the unique biodiversity of this extraordinary place by designing and implementing a resilient network of marine protected areas (MPAs). Once established, the MPA network will ensure the sustainable use and management of the fisheries resources in Raja Ampat, and the health and prosperity of the local communities who rely on them.
Within the Raja Ampat Islands, the Conservancy’s conservation efforts are focused on two areas, Kofiau and Southeast Misool, both of which have been identified as top priorities for marine conservation by global coral reef experts.
I’ve just arrived in Southeast Misool to help train our field team in coral reef monitoring methods. Over the next couple of weeks, the team will use these methods to assess coral reef health, refine the information required for the MPA network design and provide a baseline survey for measuring success of the MPA network.
Stay tuned for news of our adventures here as we explore some of the highest diversity reefs on the planet.
(Image: Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia. Credit: Andreas Muljadi/TNC.)