(Editor’s note: Conservancy Senior Marine Scientist Alison Green is on an expedition to the Raja Ampat islands in Indonesia — amidst some of the most spectacular and biodiverse coral reef ecosystems in the world. Catch up on all her posts from the expedition.)
While I’m here in Raja Ampat, I’ve been learning more about the excellent conservation work that is happening here in this mega-diverse region. One of the things that has really impressed me is the level of partnerships and collaborations among NGOs, governments and local communities.
In the Bird’s Head Seascape, a region that includes Raja Ampat, The Nature Conservancy is part of a unique tri-institutional partnership with Conservation International and the World Wide Fund for Nature – Indonesia. Together, they are implementing an ecosystem-based management program to collect information on the biology, ecology and socioeconomic characteristics of the area. Based on this information, they are supporting the regency governments and local communities in designing and implementing a resilient network of marine protected areas.
Another great example of how the Conservancy works with partners in Indonesia is the collaboration it has with Reef Check Indonesia and the Wildlife Conservation Society. These three organizations are working together to study coral reef resilience at a number of sites in Indonesia.
Jensi Sartin of Reef Check Indonesia is participating in our expedition to help us assess coral reef resilience in Southeast Misool. He is very impressed with the coral diversity he has seen here.
“I’m amazed that there are so many coral genera in Raja Ampat that I have never seen before in all my years diving in western Indonesia,” he told me. “I’m learning so much on this trip, and I love the challenge of working out the names of coral genera that I have never seen before. But the most important thing is that we are assessing coral reef resilience, so we can understand which areas are most likely to survive so they can be included in highly protected zones in the marine protected area.”
Together these partners are working together to protect the global center of marine diversity here in Raja Ampat…and elsewhere in Indonesia.
(Image 1: Jensi Sartin of Reef Check Indonesia assessing coral reef resilience in Southeast Misool. Credit: Jensi Sartin. Image 2: Leptoseris, one of the many coral general in Raja Ampat. Credit: Sangeeta Mangubhai.)