Twenty five of Bali’s coastal areas have been recently identified as potential marine conservation zones due to their high environmental, economic and cultural value, a marine biologist says. “We have identified 25 spots in Bali’s marine zone that should be protected and managed as they support the way of life of people living in coastal,” Ketut Sarjana Putra, marine program director at with the Conservation International Indonesia, said recently.
The spots identified are spread across the resort island’s marine territory, with 11 in Buleleng regency, five in Karangasem, one in Klungkung, two in Jembrana, three in Badung, two in Tabanan and one in Sanur, Denpasar. Among the locations are Pemuteran, Les, Lovina, Padangbai, Tulamben, Nusa Penida, Melaya, Perancak, Pecatu, Ungasan and Nusa Dua. These areas were identified during a recent workshop involving groups of scientists, NGOs and officials from related agencies and customary villages.
“Out of 40 assessed areas, we have chosen 25 as priorities that we will develop into a network of protected marine parks,” Ketut said. He said establishing protected marine parks was needed to improve Bali’s management of marine and coastal resources toward an integrated system of “one island, one management”. “In Bali, coastal and marine areas are not only valuable in terms of ecology and the economy, but also culturally, with those areas being used by Hindu people to carry out melasti [purification] ceremonies.”
The development of the marine parks will include an ecological survey and assessment, which is to be funded by foreign donations. “We will conduct marine ecological survey to find out exactly what sized area we need to conserve to support the ecosystem there, and to set up a more comprehensive management system,” Ketut said. He predicted that it would need around 70,000 hectares of conservation zones throughout the island’s marine areas.
He said the assessment would include identifying areas where coral reefs were resilient to coral bleaching, an impact of global warming. A team of marine scientists and representatives from the officials will map the 25 spots. “Out aim is to map areas of are importance to both coastal peoples’ economy and for the preservation of biodiversity. These areas should be included in the island’s spatial master plan,” Ketut said.
He highlighted that Bali boasts abundant marine biodiversity. The island’s is part of the country’s western coral triangle zone with thousands of species of marine life. Head of the provincial marine and fishery agency, IGP Nuriartha, said the agency would facilitate the development of the marine protected areas. He conceded the island had not yet carried out all out efforts to conserve its marine resources. “The management of coastal and marine areas still needs a lot of improvement,” Nuriartha told The Jakarta Post on Saturday. He cited there were areas of unhealthy coral reef affecting the chances of survival of other marine life.
Source: The Jakarta Post – August 16, 2010
By Desy Nurhayati