Capacity Building for Coral Reef Conservation and Management

Reef Check Monitoring and Management in Indonesia

Reef Check has been well accepted by the scientific community and decision makers in Indonesia as one tool for raising public awareness about the coral reef ecosystem. Because using the Reef Check method is easy and user-friendly, field trainers reported that the method is straightforward to teach and it has been easy to involve the public in monitoring their own reefs. The Coastal Resources Center held a planning meeting with partners and regional coordinators in Bali in October 2000 and that meeting produced the Indonesia contract and workplan, which served as the basis for project management. In addition, a second planning meeting was held in Jakarta in April 2001 in conjunction with the NOAA Coral Trade conference.

A successful Reef Check Monitoring workshop was conducted in Bali, Indonesia in October 2000. Subsequently, 271 volunteers were trained in Reef Check methods and educated about coral reef conservation and management. Reef Check trainings and surveys were conducted in the following locations and dates: Seribu Islands, Jakarta (September 21-24, 2000); Jawa Tengah, Karimunjawa (September 23-28, 2000); Sironjong Island, Sumatra Barat (October 2–3, 2000); Bali, (October 13-19, 2000); Makasar, (November 2-4, 2000); NTB, (December 9-11, 2000); Madado, North Sulawesi (May 13, 2001); Derawan, East Kalimantan (May 26-28, 2001); and Lampung, (October 11 – 15, 2001).

A national training was held in Bali on July 23-24, 2001. The 18 participants in this training included volunteers from local NGOs, students, teachers and other educators, government employees, reporters/journalists, and dive operators from Bali, Lampung, Aceh, East Java, East Kalimantan, Riau, Jakarta, South Sulawesi, Yogyakarta, North Sulawesi, and West Java. The training was followed by a workshop that focused on further skill development for Reef Check trainers. Experienced Reef Check trainers gave presentations on their lessons learned from five years (1997-2001) experience using Reef Check. Newly trained Reef Check trainers indicated that these lessons learned from the more experienced trainers would help the, network with other Reef Check trainers to achieve two goals. First, to raise public awareness about the coral reef environments and the threats to those environments and second, to increase the capacity for coral reef management in Indonesia through Reef Check activities.

An important result from the workshop was the development of the first official regional network for Reef Check activities. This network will help ensure the sustainability of Reef Check in the region — without the need for large external funding. Reef Check 2001 was advertized in national media and newspapers including SCTV, Bali Sun, TVRI Lampung, Indosair Jakarta Post, Nusa Newspaper, Radio News 68H, Paradise FM, Top FM, Pinguin FM, and other local radio stations and newspapers. Reef Check slates, fact sheets and the brochures were translated into Bahasa Indonesia and printed. The translated instruction materials were posted on the Reef Check website ( T-shirts and hats have been produced and have been distributed to participants in training workshops. Leaflets have been produced and distributed. Fifty-two out of the planned 56 Reef Check surveys were completed. Additional surveys and locations were added due to the high enthusiasm from the volunteers. At the same time, some monitoring activities were delayed or cancelled due to unstable political conditions in the particular areas. Data from Reef Check headquarters was collected and included in the global database. The Reef Check report was written and published in December 2001. Two press conferences were held to announce the result of yearly Reef Check Indonesia results on October 21, 2000 and July 26, 2001.