Indonesia’s bid to protect its marine areas has gained support in the form of a US$23 million investment in the Blue Abadi Fund, which is on track to be the world’s largest marine conservation trust, designed to conserve the country’s Bird’s Head Seascape.
The support was announced by Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and the Indonesian government at the World Ocean Summit in Bali on Friday.
The Bird’s Head Seascape is the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, encompassing more than 225,000 square kilometers in West Papua, Indonesia, and home to more than 70 species of reef fishes, corals and crustaceans found nowhere else on the planet.
The announcement comes just five months after the fund initiative was introduced. Once the fund is fully capitalized, the seascape will contain Indonesia’s first sustainably financed marine protected area network (MPAs).
The Blue Abadi Fund will help secure the long-term financial sustainability of the Bird’s Head Seascape by providing grants to local communities and agencies so they can sustainably manage their marine resources into the future.
“The future of our planet depends upon the wisdom of communities,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman and CEO of Conservation International. “Through the Blue Abadi Fund the global community joins with local communities to secure the long-term health of the Bird's Head seascape, arguably the most diverse marine region of Planet Earth.” (ary)