New York, June 9th 2017
The Yayasan Karang Lestari (Coral Protection Foundation) Biorock coral reef restoration projects in Pemuteran, Bali were honored as the highlight of World Oceans Day Reception last night during the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York.
The United Nations Development Programme, which awarded the Pemuteran projects the UN Equator Award for Community-Managed Development, and the Special UNDP Award for Oceans and Coastal Management at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2012, chose this project for special focus as an exceptional example of how local environmental action could greatly improve their income and quality of life.
Komang Astika, Manager of the Pemuteran project, spoke about the effects of the project on the community, how community managed coral reef restoration with Biorock Technology has transformed environmental disaster into sustainable community tourism, and made the poorest village in Bali one of the most prosperous. He said that they were committed to helping other communities do the same.
Video of Komang Astika’s speech at UN World Oceans Day Celebrations in New York June 8th 2017. Video Taken by Budi Setiawan and Published by Biorock Indonesia
He was followed by representatives of the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Ministry of Fisheries, who were asked how Indonesia could replicate the example of Pemuteran across the country. Arif Havas Oegroseno from Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry described the Pemuteran coral restoration team as “the best in the world”. He mentioned that Indonesia has registered voluntary commitments to restore the pristine Raja Ampat Reefs recently damaged by a cruise ship, and learning from the Foundation as Indonesian reef restoration experts. Suseno Sukoyono from the Ministry of Fisheries said that he visited Pemuteran in 2016 when he opened the Pemuteran Annual Marine Festival. “The project and the community involvement supported each other to generate sustainable income. I would totally support the effort and hope that other areas can replicate it”, he added
After their presentations, representative of many countries asked for similar help with their reefs.
Indonesia played a prominent role at UN Ocean Conference. Marine Plastic Debris and illegal, unregulated, and unreported or IUU Fishing were main issues that Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti lead through series of dialogue sessions on June 5th-9th 2017. The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) just published “Coral Reefs Status of Indonesia in 2017”. They found that only 6.39% of Coral Reefs in Indonesia are in very good condition, 23.40% good; 35.06% moderate; and 35.15% damaged.
Dr. Tom Goreau, Yayasan Karang Lestari Scientific Advisor, on the same day spoke on New Methods for Large Scale Restoration of Marine Ecological and Economic Services in Small Island Developing States in a Side Event on Energy Services from organic waste – integrated waste management solutions for coastal, marine and freshwater protection in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), sponsored by the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), SIDS DOCK, UNIDO, and the CARICOM Energy Programme, supported by Governments of Austria and Spain. Many Caribbean and Pacific countries requested assistance to apply these approaches to their marine problems.