Indonesia: WWF Partners with Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to Protect Dugongs

Netral News 11 Apr 18;

PANGKALAN BUN, NNC – WWF Indonesia with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) involves the community to protect dugong (dugong dugon) and seagrasses in West Kotawaringin Barat, Central Kalimantan (Kalteng), through Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Program Projec/DSCP) Indonesia.

WWF Indonesia Marine Species Officer Cassandra Tania, said the effort to involve the community in the conservation of dugong and seagras is done by providing incentives for new livelihoods.

Together with two other implementing partners of DSCP Indonesia, namely LIPI and ITB, people in Bogam Bay village are invited to develop new economic resources and abandon the habits of dugong hunting.

Communities in coastal West Kotawaringin are invited to try to cultivate seaweed, crabs, shrimp ponds, make salted fish, develop tourism, develop spirulina to ecotourism.

"Of all these options, it will be selected which is the most potential to be developed there," said Tania, in a press release on Wednesday (4/11/2018).

Dugongs or sea cows are among the vulnerable species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (IUCN) in Indonesia which have been protected under Government Regulation No. 7/1999.

However, although sanctions from the exploitation of dugongs are clearly described in Law No. 5 of 1990 and Law No. 31 of 2014, there are still practices of hunting dugongs and the use of their body parts in this district.

Based on the results of the survey in 2018, the awareness of the community about dugongs in the area is still lacking. The majority (70 percent) of respondents do not know the appearance of the mamals, although some of them and many other residents (92 percent) already know the appearance of their food, the seagrass.

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