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Banggai Islands, Wallacea's Little Atlantis

Banggai Kepulauan (Bangkep) berbatasan langsung dengan Teluk Tomini terkadang luput dari pandangan mata.  Kepulauan yang 97 persen didominasi oleh ekosistem karst ini memiliki nilai keanekaragaman hayati yang sangat kaya. Bahkan Banggai Kepulauan termasuk salah satu daerah yang masuk ke dalam Segitiga Terumbu Karang (Coral Triangle).

The marine waters of the Banggai Islands fall within the Togean-Banggai marine corridor, which has a high biodiversity endemicity value. The marine waters here are the only natural habitat for the Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni).

In 2022, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) of the Republic of Indonesia stated that the fish catch in the Banggai Islands reached 3,415 tons per day. Many people in the Banggai Islands also derive their livelihoods from the marine resources in the region.

However, the marine waters of the Banggai Islands are also faced with damage caused by destructive fishing activities such as the use of bombs and trawling. These activities can affect the destruction of coral reef habitats and the fauna that live in them. This can also affect the existence of birds that depend on these ecosystems.

Traditional fishermen in Banggai Islands (Photo: Burung Indonesia/Made Chandra)

Realizing and understanding the importance of preserving fisheries and marine resources by not taking destructive actions is very important. Collaboration between the government, civil organizations and communities in conservation efforts must be massively improved. So that it can form a community-level conservation action initiative.

The Coral Triangle is home to approximately 76 percent of the world's coral reefs. 605 of the world's 798 coral reef species can be found in this region. There are six countries whose marine areas are included in the Coral Triangle, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor Leste, and the Solomon Islands. In addition to having high biodiversity value, the Coral Triangle region also has very high economic value. So that it has contributed to the progress of the tourism sector, fisheries, and coastal economic development. Based on The Coral Reef Economy report by the International Sustainability Unit, United Nations Environment Program, and International Coral Reef Initiative, the economic value of the Coral Triangle region reaches 13.9 billion US dollars annually.

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