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Celebrating Banggai Islands Marine and Coastal Preservation

The districts of Banggai, Banggai Islands and Banggai Laut (hereinafter: "Banggai Dalaka") are three districts in the eastern part of Central Sulawesi Province. These three districts have marine areas that have been authorized as the Banggai Dalaka Marine Protected Area (MPA/KKP) by the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) through KKP Ministerial Decree No.53 of 2019.

Administratively, the Banggai Dalaka MPA is managed by the Central Sulawesi Provincial government as a protected area under the category of KKP3K (Coastal and Small Island Conservation Area) which covers 856,649 hectares of marine and coastal areas and is home to many fish species that have high economic value to the region.

The marine area of Banggai Islands Regency is one of the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) that serves as a habitat for Global Threatened Species. In addition to being a location for important migratory birds and marine animals, the Peleng-Banggai KBA is a natural habitat for Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), a marine endemic fish of Banggai Islands.

Burung Indonesia's Wallacea Program Manager Wahyu Teguh Prawira said that biodiversity and the presence of unique endemic species in the Banggai Islands marine area is an indicator of the health of the marine ecosystem that is still maintained. Therefore, participation and support from the community and local government are very important to continue to preserve the nature of Banggai Islands as one of the centers of marine biodiversity in the Wallacea ecoregion.

To build public awareness of marine and coastal conservation, Burung Indonesia collaborated with the local community and government to promote marine and coastal conservation actions through the Kinatauan Festival. This event was held on January 20-21, 2024 in Salakan, Banggai Islands Regency, with events such as conservation discussions, talk shows on sustainable small-scale fisheries management, photography competitions and exhibitions, and folk art performances.

The festival's festivities are complemented by art performances typical of the Banggai Islands (Photo: Burung Indonesia/Kukuh Akhfad)

"A multi-stakeholder collaborative effort is needed to increase awareness of the importance of sustainable fisheries management and conservation actions in preserving marine biodiversity in Banggai Islands. Through the theme 'To the Sea We Honor', we are optimistic that key messages and conservation efforts in any form can be understood and implemented by the community to reduce threats to marine and fisheries resources," he said.

Teguh added that commitment from policy makers is also needed to implement sustainable small-scale fisheries management schemes and management of the Banggai Dalaka MPA. According to him, sustainable small-scale fisheries governance and management of the Banggai Dalaka MPA must be promoted to support marine biodiversity conservation efforts in the Banggai Islands. Through Kinatuan Festival activities, it is hoped that it can capture the involvement of the parties to protect biodiversity and sustainable management of fisheries potential in the Banggai Islands Regency.

"Previously, together with policy makers and the community, we have carried out mangrove planting in Mamulusan and Tangkop Villages, Liang Sub-district as an effort to preserve one of the important coastal ecosystems," he concluded.

Kinatauan Festival was attended by various groups, including local stakeholders (Photo: Burung Indonesia/Kukuh Akhfad)