Seven sites at six villages in Buleleng North Bali construct and install artificial reef structures for their reef restoration program

Seven sites at six villages in Buleleng North Bali construct and install artificial reef structures for their reef restoration program

Within two months, over 1,400 people from six villages along the coast of North Bali participated in the building of over 13,000 artificial reef structures, and 250 divers helped in placing the structures on the seabed in areas of previously damaged reefs. This Government-funded project was to support communities in North Bali that have been impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. For us, this was our first really large-scale project, where we had to manage all stages of this project, covering six areas that are far apart, and only having a very short time in which to complete the project. We learned a great deal about the Government administrative system, and this experience has greatly enriched our ability in dealing with the Government.  

The work of reef restoration has only just started on such a large scale in North Bali, and now we will continue to support the coastal communities in developing reef monitoring programs and in maintaining and managing the reef restoration sites. These communities have all expressed their willingness to take the lead in accomplishing these talks; a vital component of work like this is local buy-in and commitment as a result of feeling ownership of and responsibility for the reefs on which they depend for their livelihoods. As a result of media exposure, communities from other parts of Indonesia have also contacted us and requesting us to help them to restore their reefs, which can significantly magnify the impact of these efforts.

Planting coral fragments on new structures – ICRG Buleleng
New structures providing new haven for fish – ICRG Buleleng

We would like to sincerely thank the many supporters of LINI who have believed in our reef restoration efforts since we started in 2010, and who have helped us along the way.  This includes the Indonesian and International marine aquarium industry, which continues to support us with their contributions. We also thank the six village community groups and local Government, without whom this work would not have been possible. For sure, we now understand more deeply than ever that restoring the reefs here requires many skills, goodwill and the cooperation of so many people No component of the help needed is too small to be significant! Thank you all again!

Supporting coastal communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to restore coral reefs in North Bali

Supporting coastal communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to restore coral reefs in North Bali

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Bali Island very hard since the island relies so heavily on tourism. The island has been almost empty of visitors since March, and thousands of Balinese struggle to make ends meet. The Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries are providing a financial stimulus by giving income opportunities for people, including fishers, to build artificial reef structures and restore reefs in five locations around the coastline of Bali, including the reefs in Buleleng, Sanur, Serangan, Pandawa and Nusa Dua.

The plan is to restore 50 Ha of damaged reefs in a program lasting several years.

Today, we are starting the program with its introduction to local stakeholders in East Buleleng, as well as providing training on the concept of reef rehabilitation, and how to build various artificial reef structures, with almost 50 people attending the event. Hundreds of communities who lost their incomes because of COVID 19 are not yet familiar with building artificial reef structures, so this is an opportunity for them to learn.

We at LINI are very excited to be part of this program. Together with our community partners and the Government of Buleleng, the plan is to involve over 1200 people along the coast of Buleleng – North Bali to install artificial reef structures at 6 sites, and rehabilitate 4 Ha of damaged reefs.

This project will no doubt face challenges, including the coming rainy season. However, we are excited and positive, knowing that many disadvantaged people will be able to earn a living by building the structures, and by restoring the reefs on which so many depend!

The coral farmers and exporters will also take part in the Government’s plan. They will contribute by providing their expertise, and by giving propagated corals for replanting on the artificial structures.

We will provide regular updates on the progress of the project! Please stay tuned!