Bone Baru village in Banggai Island, Central Sulawesi, is known for its beautiful white sandy beach, extensive seagrass beds and coral reefs. These habitats are home to the endangered endemic Banggai Cardinalfish. The community of Bone Baru village, together with Yayasan LINI, have initiated the conservation of these habitats by developing a locally-managed marine area, and by restoring the reefs there. In early September from 4 to 10, 2021, villagers, half of them are women, made over 170 artificial reef structures. During the making of these structures, the villagers learned about the importance of preserving and maintaining the coral reefs on which they depend, including the importance of avoiding overfishing.
The efforts of the Bone Baru community to conserve the coral reefs have been acknowledged and appreciated by the local Banggai Laut Government. The Head of Banggai Laut Region, Mr Sofyan Kaepa, came to inaugurate the new reef restoration project in Bone Baru, and presented dive certificates to 15 young people from the village, who have just been trained for open water diving. One of them is 16 year-old Fauzia, the first female diver in the village. She has become a huge inspiration to other women there!
The next action that the people of Bone Baru communities plan to do is to implement temporary closure of certain reefs, and disallow any fishing activities there for a period of three months. This project has been kindly supported by the Bloomberg and Walton Family Foundation through our partner, Yayasan Pesisir Lestari.