As a part of my master’s studies in France, I was required to do a 6-month internship. I thought it was a great chance for me to expand my work experience. Having done internships in a start-up and government office, I decided it would be nice to be involved in something I have never done before, which is to work in a non-governmental organisation (NGO). I started searching for different places and my attention was drawn to Biorock Indonesia.
I first heard about Biorock Indonesia through social media, and I was immediately interested in the Biorock technology. It was the first time that I heard about Biorock, or some people would say mineral accretion technology, and made me curious to learn more about it. In addition, Biorock Indonesia’s programs are very engaging. Due to some circumstances, I spent most of the internship 11,000 km away from Indonesia. Despite the situation, I was able to contribute to Biorock Indonesia’s activities. Thanks to the technologies available, I was able to communicate with Biorock Indonesia’s team from a great distance.
One of the most memorable memories was when I joined Scholar Reef in Kepulauan Seribu in the north of Jakarta’s coasts. As someone with a biology background, I have only done fieldwork by taking data of the environment. During Scholar Reef, I was put in the socioeconomics team. One of the most important lessons I have learned from Biorock Indonesia is that when we want to do a coral reef restoration, it is important to consider not just the biological side, but also the socioeconomics part. We need to know for sure what the community needs.
During Scholar Reef, I had the chance to meet Biorock Indonesia’s team in person. In addition, I get to meet other students from different universities who participated in the program. The students were divided into two – ecology team and socioeconomics team. I was in socioeconomics group. Before doing fieldwork, we were briefed and did some brainstorm activities. We also did simulations for the Q&A to prepare us in the field.
Another part that I found interesting from Biorock Indonesia is the fact that they try to include everyone from different genders, professions, and age groups. Oftentimes, reef rehabilitations only involve men who are directly related to the sea (fishermen, homestay owners, etc), forgetting that there are others that make up the population. I had the chance to talk with at least 5 people from different gender and age groups and listened to their insights.
At first, I was nervous to do interviews to the local people as I have never done it before. However, it turned out to be a pleasant first experience. The friendliness of the local people made it easy for me to do the work. I had the chance to not only hear about their thoughts on coral reef rehabilitation, but also their incredible and fascinating lives. The times I spent with my teammates were not less important. With them I exchanged stories and what they aspire to be.
Overall, my time with Biorock Indonesia was enjoyable. I had to meet a lot of different people and made new friends. I think that the experiences that I had will help me in the future of ocean conservation. I am thankful for Biorock Indonesia’s team and the students of Scholar Reef. If you are interested in doing an internship or the Scholar Reef program, make sure to follow Biorock Indonesia’s social media on instagram, facebook, and linkedin.