Conservation Action: Through the Eyes of Communities

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Day 4 of our underwater journey continues with Tulamben and Amed—two small fishing villages in Bali, Indonesia that were featured in our 2015 Annual Report.

Dive tourism, fishing and farming are the lifeblood of Tulamben and Amed, and there is a deep concern about the health and management of local coral reefs. Because of these concerns, we have been working with our partners in these and other villages along the north coast of Bali to establish a network of well-managed marine protected areas that are ecologically connected and socioeconomically sustainable. Effectively managing this network requires the support of local communities. To garner this support, community concerns and knowledge must be understood and incorporated into management plans.

To build an effective management plan, we partnered with Lens of the Community of Indonesia and asked villagers to use photos to document their natural environments, cultures, traditions and lifestyles. The photos tell powerful stories about how community members interact with nature and can identify issues and challenges that may affect management priorities. In both Tulamben and Amed, the photos identified sedimentation, trash and tourism activities as major threats to reefs.

This was the first time community members had an opportunity to voice their concerns and their vision of their future and the future of their reefs. These photos can be used to build management plans and help governments and local NGOs better prioritize conservation initiatives.

We are hoping to expand this project to other parts of Bali and create community-driven and community-supported marine protected areas.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to continue your underwater journey and, on November 29, celebrate #GivingTuesday with us and #GiveToReefs.

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