1. Two West Papua MPAs Proposed for Ministerial Declaration
On April 16, the Governor of West Papua submitted a letter to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) requesting official declaration and establishment of two MPAs in the district of Fakfak, namely, Nusalasi-Van den Bosch Bay and Berau Bay, which together span almost 350,000 hectares of critical habitats. This follows a 2017 Governor’s Decree to reserve these two MPAs, and nearly two years of work by the provincial government to develop the MPAs’ Zoning and Management Plans, which USAID SEA assisted through a sub-contract with CI. Ministerial declaration is required for the MPAs to be recognized in the national MPA system and upgraded under Indonesia’s MPA management effectiveness scoring system from the current green (minimally managed) to yellow (established), which will allow for budget, and thus for operations to begin, for implementing the MPAs.
In preparation for the declaration, CI recently facilitated the FakFak local government and community leaders to visit Raja Ampat and learn about developing and managing community-based marine tourism. The visit, which was conducted on April 8-12, involved about 180 participants from various backgrounds, including district officials, technical personnel, village heads, and community members. It culminated in an agreement between the regents of Fakfak and Raja Ampat to work together to strengthen marine tourism development and management in their respective districts. This collaboration was formalized in a memorandum of understanding that included relevant trainings, workshops, and other forms of knowledge and experience exchange on marine ecotourism management, customary community-based surveillance, management and establishment of customary fisheries area, and marketing and promotional strategies.