Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
colbartn.gif (4535 octets)

Regional Workshop for the Asia-Pacific University Twinning Network ‘Exploring Wise Practice Agreements’

Annex 4   -   Workshop Papers

  1. Working and living conditions of workers: a case of misplaced conflict 
    Ms. Sumanben Chaudhany and Capt. Y.P. Deulkar

  2. Moken livelihood in the Surin Islands National Park
    Ms. Narumon Arunotai

  3. Bantayisay (SeagrassWatch): A wise practice agreement rallying community support to link science and tourism in Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve, the Philippines 
    Mr. Miguel D. Fortes

  4. Collaborative undertakings between international, national and local institutions towards coastal resource management
    Ms. Gerthie Mayo-Anda

  5. Wise practice management and related issues in the Sä’anapu/Sätaoa, Samoa, CSI project 
    Mr. Asofou So’o and Ms. Lagi Kelemete

  6. Wise practice agreements in the Melanesian Region: Mutual agreements over resource management, access and use
    Mr. Linus digim’Rina and Mr. Haraka G. Gaudi

  7. Identification of sources of conflicts and evaluating the potential role of wise practice agreements for Jakarta Bay and the Seribu Islands
    Mr. Warief Djajanto Basorie, Ms. Christien Ismuranty, and Mr. Jan H. Steffen


Working and Living Conditions of Workers: a Case of Misplaced Conflict

Ms. Sumanben Chaudhary and Mr. Y.P. Deulkar

1.0  Introduction

Situated near Alang village, 55 km from Bhavnagar city, the Alang-Sosiya Ship-Breaking yard (ASSBY) is the second largest ship-breaking yard in the world next to Taiwan and has an important geographical location. The unique geographical features of the area including a high tidal range, wide continental shelf, 15 degree slope, and a mud free coast, are ideal for any size ships to be beached easily during high tide. At present, there are 185 plots employing 15,000 – 20,000 migrant labourers.

ASSBY plays an important role in the development of nearby villages. Coastal villages around Alang linked through ASSBY have developed into industrial towns, providing economic opportunities in ship breaking work to workers from other states, and social services and self-employment to local villagers.

2.0  Issues

There are four stakeholder groups in ASSBY: villagers, workers, ship breakers and the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).

In the second phase of the project, we investigated the conflict between villagers and the workers; the communities divided into two groups, socially segregated but co-operating economically. In this phase, we would like to study the conflicts between the GMB and the workers.

2.1 Conflict between the Gujarat Maritime Board and Gujarat Ship Breakers Association

The conflict between the GMB and the Gujarat Ship Breakers Association relate to plot congestion, lack of labour laws and safety concerns. Some of the plots are small and not sufficient to carry out ship breaking operations smoothly, with congestion often causing accidents. Labour laws are not implemented and labourers are often not provided with safety facilities or working equipment such as helmets, gumboots, etc. In the cases where these are provided, there are insufficient numbers and they are of poor quality, except at the time of inspection or safety audit. The labourers are not provided with the necessary equipment for machine safety, chemical safety and water safety.  GMB officials believe that the ship breakers carry out operations in an unplanned and unorganized manner which leads to accidents.

2.2 Conflict between the Gujarat Maritime Board and the villagers

The conflict between these two groups relates to the provision of physical infrastructure such as roads; water and fuel supply; land use; khadas (shops selling various materials from the ships); pollution of land, air, water and the marine environment, as well as noise pollution; solid waste disposal; and land acquisition and compensation.

2.3 Conflicts between ship-breakers and workers

The conflict between the ship-breakers and the workers relates to:

  1. The provision of adequate hygienic living conditions

  2. Safety and standardised working conditions, and proper sanitary and health care facilities

  3. The implementation of labour laws

  4. Economic aspects such as daily wages, Provident Fund, bonuses, daily hours of working, and wages for overtime work, etc.

2.4 Conflicts between the Gujarat Maritime Board and the workers

The conflict between the GMB and the workers relates to:

  1. The provision of infrastructure facilities for basic amenities

  2. Water supply

  3. Allied services

  4. Community sanitation

  5. Fire fighting

The conflicts between GMB and workers are ambiguous. There is a widespread belief among workers that the GMB is responsible for the welfare of the workers and thus, the cause of irritation between them. This is, however, not the case.

The workers are hired and employed by the ship breakers directly. GMB is not involved in the selection or employment of the workers or their work distribution. As a result, the wages, working conditions, provision of physical facilities are the responsibility of the ship breakers. The Factory Act provides that if the contractor fails to pay the wages of the labourer, the principal employer becomes responsible for the failure. In this case, the ‘Mukadam’ is the labour contractor and the ship breaker is the principal employer. The GMB is not the principal employer but only the leasing and managing authority for the plots and the port.

The responsibility of GMB is limited to providing extensive facilities to the ship breakers such as structural facilities like a hospital training centre, sports and recreation, fire brigade, roads, water supply, fair price shop, waste-management facilities, etc.  The supervision of the implementation of labour laws by the ship breakers is the responsibility of the State Government’s Labour Department and not GMB. The government has provided a labour officer for ASSBY. The labour officer has the responsibility to look into matters of providing physical facilities, wages, implementation of labour laws, and prosecution of ship breakers in case of non-compliance. The GMB works in unison with the Department of Labour and the factory inspectorate, which are government departments.

Whenever incidences regarding wages, accidents, pollution or AIDS arise, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the media give them publicity. In such situations, the GMB as an overall government authority unfairly becomes the lone target for blame. Direct dialogue between the ship breakers and the labourers is the only way to solve this problem. The GMB, while taking an active interest in all the activities, can only be involved as a mediator.

3.0  Conflict Resolution

Several facilities have been put in place by the GMB and others are planned:

  1. Water supply: 35 Syntax water tanks of 2,000 litres capacities have been installed at the ship breaking plots where labourers are residing. These tanks supply domestic and drinking water for the labourers every day. One tanker of 5,000 litres supplies the tanks at the working plots daily. Soon, Narmada River water will be diverted to ASSBY to increase water supply.

  2. Fire fighting: Fire fighting arrangements in the yard are looked after by the GMB. The fire fighting force headed by a Fire Officer is equipped with the following equipment:  2 fire tenders, 1foam tender, 2 trailer fire pumps, 6 portable water pumps, 6 water tankers, and 2 underground sumps.

  3. Allied services: Police station, post office, bank, telephone exchange, hospitals, community sanitary complexes, Customs office, and AIDS centre, etc.

  4. Community sanitation: The GMB provides and maintains sanitary complexes at four locations.

  5. Infrastructure: GMB provides basic infrastructure in the area such as roads, electricity, extension of fire station, railing and footpath on service road, road dividers, solid waste management, and a new safety and worker training institute.

As a regulator, GMB has put in efforts to develop and/or provide the above requirements to match the growth of the industry. However, prior to 1998, the focus was on physical infrastructure. Attention towards workers safety was initiated in the beginning of 1997 by executing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gujarat Ship Breakers Association to keep records of accidents, establish a permanent office of factory inspectors and labour officer, initiate the issuance of identity cards to the workers, execute detailed enquiries into total accidents, punish the plot owner in the event of an accident, and develop the constitution of an ‘Expert Committee’ to examine standard rules for the ship breaking industry.

The issue of worker safety was assigned high priority and the GMB’s Chief Executive Officer put an innovative strategy comprising the following elements in place:

  1. Build a knowledge base

  2. Train labour

  3. Create incentives for ship breakers

  4. Create risk awareness

  5. Monitor safety status for each plot

  6. Create binding regulation

4.0  Conclusion

GMB is keen to create and maintain a safe working environment at Alang, to provide better amenities to the workers to enhance their efficiency and ability, and to ensure that workers get a better standard of living. The industry will prosper as a result of the above efforts.


Moken Livelihood in the Surin Islands National Park

Ms. Narumon Arunotai

1.0  Introduction

The coastal areas and several islands in the Andaman Sea of Southern Thailand have been a home and foraging ground for three groups of sea nomads who call themselves the Moken, the Moklen, and the Urak Lawoi according to their Austronesian language.  These sea nomads are maritime hunter-gatherers who roam the sea in search of food and shelters. Due to the expansion of urban and rural settlements, tourist development, and expanding protected areas, the Moken have had their foraging ground limited. 

The Surin Islands have been a foraging ground for the Moken for centuries.  The Islands consist of two large islands and three small islands located about 60 kilometers from the Khuraburi shore of Phang-nga Province.  In 1981, the islands were declared a Marine National Park due to the pristine conditions of coral reef and marine life, and the several types of forests and rare species like the Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) and the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus).

2.0  Issues to be Addressed

‘The Moken livelihood depends on hunting and gathering of marine products for sale to tourists.  This is against the National Park Act.  Therefore, it is necessary to implement or set up appropriate measures so that Moken dependence on the natural resources does not disturb the National Park environment.’ Surin Islands National Park Master Plan 2000-2005

2.1 Background

According to the National Park Act of 1961, activities within the Park boundary have to be limited and controlled.  In theory, the areas to be declared National Park have to be free of any ownership or control; but in practice, National Park areas have often been declared over local people’s subsistence farming land.  This becomes problematic as Park staff must work in these areas, and at the same time, the people’s livelihood is often limited or disrupted by the Park establishment.

Although there was no formal or written agreement between the Park Staff and the Moken of the Surin Islands, it was generally understood that the Moken are indigenous people who frequented the islands and depended on marine and terrestrial resources long before the creation of the National Park.  The Moken’s subsistence way of life and simple foraging/building tools did very little to harm the environment so the Moken were accepted as part of the islands and were able to continue their traditional livelihood, moving their villages to inhabitable beaches as they have done for centuries.

Around 1987, when the Park had become a popular marine tourist destination, the Moken were allowed to gather decorative seashells for sale to island visitors.  These seashells were collected from waters around the Surin Islands and other islands in Myanmar waters.  This seashell sale continued for almost 10 years and earned cash income for the Moken of approximately 200-3,000 baht per household per month during the tourist season which lasts from mid-November to mid-May.

2.2 Economic issues

In 1996, the Park issued a ban on seashell sales and established a Moken Fund by accepting donations from island visitors and other parties.  The Park uses the money from the fund to buy rice and other necessities for the Moken.  A fraction of the income from the Park staff welfare shop is used to hire some Moken to work as Park boatmen, gardeners, and garbage collectors.  It should be noted that the money to hire the Moken cannot come from the government budget because they do not have a citizenship card.

The establishment of the Moken Fund, the distribution of rice and necessities, and the hiring of Moken workers represent the Park’s goodwill towards the Moken especially when their seashell sale was terminated.  There was no formal agreement between the Park and the Moken. 

Due to their traditional subsistence lifestyle, the Moken do not normally accumulate their cash earnings. Moreover, the Moken generally buy their necessities in retail shops or in small amounts, which is usually more expensive than buying bulk goods. This has increasingly pushed the Moken to become more financially dependent on the Park.

2.3 Social issues

Substance addiction is a problem in many Moken communities and has resulted in the premature deaths of many Moken men. As a result, the male to female population ratio on the Surin Islands is woefully imbalanced. Widows have to shoulder a much greater responsibility for dependents in the household, despite the increased difficulty in earning a living.

2.4 The Moken and the National Park Department

The main responsibility of the National Park Staff is to protect the environment and serve island visitors.  There is no support from the Department[1] in the form of budget or manpower to work with, or employ, indigenous people.  The Surin Islands National Park Master Plan for 2000-2005 barely discusses the Moken or the issues faced by their community. Basic information on the ‘Chao Lay’[2] was provided in Chapter 4 on ‘Tourism, Recreation, and Natural Interpretation’ and under the sub-topic of ‘Tourist Sites in the Surin Islands National Park’.  In the earlier chapter, ‘The History of Land Use on the Surin Islands Prior to the National Park Establishment’, there was no mention of the Moken or their traditional/historical use of the Surin Islands.  

The Department’s official policies and planning activities hardly recognize the Moken and do little to support their physical livelihood and cultural well-being. However, past practices by the Park staff have forged a compromise between allowing the Moken to continue their traditional livelihood on the islands and abiding by the National Park rules and regulations.

This unofficial compromise has created some problems for the Moken as Park staff have often acted inconsistently in punishing Moken who violate National Park regulations. Communication between the Mokena and Park staff regarding the enforcement of Park regulations must be clear and precise to avoid misunderstandings and inconsistent regulatory enforcement.

2.5 The Moken and Local Administrative Offices

Many government agencies face a high turn-over rate in personnel and positions causing extreme difficulty in continuing project activities, especially those activities that lie beyond set policy and planning objectives.  The high rotation of Provincial and Local Administrative Offices, for example, the Governor, Vice Governer, District Chief, and Deputy District Chief has been an obstacle for Moken’s application and acquisition of legal citizenship status.  Approximately 10 years ago, a Phang-nga Governor visited the Surin Islands and spoke about the issuance of national identity cards for the Moken.  However, the Moken are still without nationality and citizenship cards, even those who are married to Thais[3].

Most government offices at the national level do not recognize the notion of ‘indigenous people’.  As a result, there has been practically no plan to support the Moken in their quest to obtain legal citizenship status and to enable indigenous participation in the management of natural resources.

The Local Administration Department, Ministry of Interior, and the National Security Council still focus their work on transborder and national security issues, national unity issues, and the promotion of civic loyalty towards the ‘motherland’.  Therefore, the Moken along with several other non-Thai indigenous peoples continue to be landless and stateless beings without formal help and support.  It is hoped that the bureaucratic reform and the discussion of new ideas about ‘culture’ (Ministry of Culture) and ‘human security’ (Ministry of Labour and Human Security) will stimulate some interest among the Local Administrative Officers towards addressing the plight of the Moken.

3.0 The Fisheries Conservation Unit

Another government sub-station on the north Surin Island is the Fisheries Conservation Unit, which serves to protect the area from illegal fishing practices.  However, this sub-station is very small, with little budget and insufficient manpower, thus patrolling and enforcing regulations is difficult.

In 1995, a one-room school was set up at the Fisheries Conservation Unit to teach Moken children the Thai language, arithmetic, physical education, and other basic subjects to provide them with the confidence to interact with members of society outside the Moken community.

In 1997, a curriculum designed especially for Moken children was drafted and tested.  It aimed at teaching practical knowledge and encouraging the real application of this knowledge in everyday life.  The curriculum was approved, and the school is now administrated by the Khuraburi District Education Office under the supervision of the Principal of Pak Jok School on Phra Thong Island.  The District Education Office provides daily milk supplements, and trawler skippers and tourists usually donate notebooks, uniforms, and sports equipment to the school.

The children who complete their lower elementary education at this school and want to continue their studies are facing some difficulties as they have to leave their family and community to pursue upper elementary education on the mainland. Scholarships to support a group of students to continue their education together may enable students to better cope with being away from home.  It is important to use education to create a connection between the children’s knowledge and their traditional cultural identity.  Education should enhance the children’s quality of life while also fulfilling their cultural needs as members of the indigenous community.

4.0 The Moken and the Future

A few popular questions raised about the Moken include, ‘How do the Moken perceive their future?’, ‘What do they expect for their future generations?’ and ‘How do they envision their community on the Surin Islands?’   The following is a short essay which a Moken wrote about these issues:

Moken and the Marine National Park
Moken livelihood and the Surin Islands Conservation

Long time ago, the Moken live happily and peacefully in our traditional way.  Nowadays, the old images are fading from our lives because of our foraging activities which sometimes go against conservation effort.  Each annual subsistence cycle is mainly to sustain our livelihood.  But the expenses have exceeded our earning.  We would like relevant government agencies to provide occupational support for us so that conservation effort could be successful and we do not have to depend on marine foraging alone.  We would like the National Park to support us by hiring the Moken for these duties:  
boatmen/boat keepers
garbage collectors
trail leader/diving-snorkeling leader
handicraft makers
During the six months of south-west monsoon season, we would like the National Park to support us in raising fish (cage culture), so that we do not have to depend on marine foraging.  And we can be the care-takers of natural resources, while sustaining our present and future livelihood.

Kong Klathalay, September 2002

During the first phase of the Andaman Pilot Project, there was a brainstorming session among the project stakeholders.  In that session, the National Park Superintendent stated that he envisioned that in the future the Moken would be a significant aspect of the islands and would play a major role in natural resources conservation and protection of the surrounding environment.

The Moken possess much traditional knowledge about the ocean and the forest. This indigenous knowledge may be combined with modern knowledge about ecosystems and resource management practices to enable the Moken to work effectively with the Park staff in safeguarding the protected area for future generations. 

[1] After the recent bureaucratic reform in October 2002, all the national parks in Thailand, both marine and terrestrial, will be under the administration of the Department of Natural Park, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, instead of the Department of Royal Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives

[2] ‘Chao Lay’, meaning “Sea People”, is the general term referred to the Moken, the Moklen and the Urak Lawoi in Thailand

[3] The marriage cannot be registered due to the lack of identity card


BantayIsay (SeagrassWatch): A Wise Practice Agreement Rallying Community Support To Link Science And Tourism In Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve, The Philippines

Mr. Miguel D. Fortes

1.0 Background

Puerto Galera (Spanish for ‘Port of Galleons’) is a Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO; hence, it exemplifies the harmonious relation between man and nature, where development is allowed but in a sustainable way. With about 25,000 people enjoying a rustic life style but only 77 nautical miles southeast of the highly urbanized Metro Manila, it has one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world and is a prime tourism destination. It caters to family groups and young professionals alike, and for many years has been the object of scientific field studies of schools and universities. The impressive collection of artifacts inside a local museum in Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve stands as a mute witness to the rich culture and history of the town. It was the refuge for Spanish ships in times of storm or for a recreational stopover for the crews after months at sea when the town was a gateway for the galleons on the way to and from Spain, Mexico, China, India, Sumatra, and Java.

As much a part of its history are the innumerable attempts to link the protection of the environment with the improvement of the lives of its people. Since the late 1970s, issues and problems have pervaded the seemingly tranquil environment of the Reserve. Emanating from conflicts between tourism development and environmental protection, these issues are aggravated by the uninformed obstinacy of politicians, preying on the hapless inhabitants who lack understanding and appreciation of the natural environment. As one of the latest initiatives which try to address these issues, the SeagrassNet, a global seagrass monitoring project funded by the Packard Foundation, chose Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve as one of its monitoring sites in Asia-Pacific. With its introduction to the municipality last January 2002, the Mayor of the town proclaimed Executive Order 02-01, otherwise known as BantayIsay, to mobilize community support for environmental awareness, protection and management.  

2.0 Description of the Field Project

BantayIsay (from the Filipino word ‘bantay’, meaning, ‘to watch’, and ‘isay’, local name for ‘seagrass’) is a community initiative promulgated by the Municipality of Puerto Galera through Executive Order 02-01. The first legislation in the Philippines (and Southeast Asia!) to provide for directly and explicitly protecting and managing seagrasses.  It aims to involve the community in collecting information on changes in seagrass meadows and in so doing support them in becoming the ‘eyes’ for coastal and fisheries managers. At certain periods, volunteers are gathered to share information on community involvement in seagrass mapping, monitoring and research, to evaluate progress, and consider ways of sustaining the existing program. They likewise discuss various approaches to involving community groups in the wider question of the role of communities in science for tourism development.

Seagrasses are recognized as habitat vital for fisheries productivity and a food source for dugong, marine turtles and a host of economically and ecologically important fishes and invertebrates. The health of much of the Philippines’ coastal environment depends on productive seagrass areas. Puerto Galera is an example of an area where there have been concerns about the degradation and loss of coastal habitats including seagrass mainly from loss of light due to turbidity resulting from rapid coastal tourism development.

BantayIsay builds on this theme by introducing and applying techniques developed for communities and families to collect information on seagrasses in a way that will provide useful data for scientists and coastal managers. It originated from the Seagrass-Watch program developed by the Department of Primary Industries’ Marine Plant Ecology Group based at the Northern Fisheries Centre, Cairns, Australia.

3.0 Major Causes of Conflicts and their Resolutions

The major causes of conflicts in Puerto Galera are:

The specific recommendations to solve the problems include:

While BantayIsay is primarily focusing on seagrasses, their resources and scientific components, its importance lies in utilizing the habitat as a symbol and a rallying point for the community to move closer to nature and recognize her as the fragile source of their lives as a people. In the long term, the initiative will branch out into the bigger integrated coastal area management, working on the gains it had in the initial years of implementation.

In the final analysis, the effective coastal development considerations in Puerto Galera need to reflect a greater understanding of the people’s livelihoods and how these relate to their relationship to their environment.  This is the core philosophy of BantayIsay. Although people’s decisions on how to use their resources are primarily based on the economic and financial benefits they get from them, the situation may be far more complex.  The wise and unwise use of resources is based on a complex connection among biophysical, social, economic, legal and cultural factors. BantayIsay attempts to make people understand this complex relationship in a simpler and more acceptable way.


Collaborative Undertakings Between International, National and Local Institutions Towards Coastal Resource Management

Ms. Gerthie Mayo-Anda

1.0 Background

The Coastal Resource Management and Sustainable Tourism initiative in Ulugan Bay, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan illustrates a collaborative undertaking between local, national and international institutions from both government and non-government sectors.  This initiative was a two-year pilot project of UNESCO, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, the Government of Puerto Princesa City and implemented jointly with national scientific institutions and non-government organizations (NGOs).

UNESCO implemented the two-year project under the umbrella of its Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and Small Islands Programme, which is devoted to developing ‘wise practices’ that achieve culturally appropriate, socially balanced and environmentally sound development in coastal regions and in small islands.

This project forms part of a strategy to save one of the most ecologically diverse, yet threatened areas in the Philippines. Ulugan Bay accounts for 15% of the total mangroves in the Philippines and 50% of the mangroves in the province of Palawan.

The Ulugan Bay project demonstrates how partnerships between various institutions can lead to a comprehensive approach to the management of a specific coastal area. By adopting a bottom-up approach in developing a working empirical model for community-based coastal resource management, the project relied on the collective effort of the local government unit, national scientific institutions, NGOs and local communities. 

Each partner institution was involved in various core activities in the project. The project commenced with the conduct of four studies that examined the ecology of the bay, the traditional resource use and culture of the indigenous communities, the socio-economic profile of the area and the tourism potential.  These studies were followed by specific activities, such as the implementation of sustainable fish farming, establishment of a fisheries database, the development of a masterplan for community-based sustainable tourism and the conduct of non-formal environmental education for youth and adults.

2.0 Lessons Learned

Among the key lessons gleaned from the project are the following:

The same partner institutions involved in the pilot project intend to continue the partnership through another integrated project which will focus on zoning, enterprise development and additional institutional strengthening activities.  While the proposal for the next phase is still being completed, UNESCO assisted its NGO partner, the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), in securing support for its planned Community-based Coastal Resource Management Program for Ulugan Bay.  UNESCO likewise provided funds to enable capacity building of local community tour guides in the Puerto Princesa National Park and Heritage Site, refinement of their Community-based Sustainable Tourism plans and in the construction of the Ugong Rock Interpretive Center and View Deck.

ELAC’s Community-based Coastal Resource Management Program and UNESCO’s continuing support to Community-based Sustainable Tourism activities are important steps towards strengthening capacity building.

Through non-formal environmental education and training, community organizing, resource management planning, legal defense, provision of land tenure, and policy advocacy, coastal communities in Ulugan Bay will be further equipped to manage, protect, conserve and judiciously utilize their resources.  The program also seeks to give tenurial security of the resource base to the coastal and indigenous communities.

Continuing education on environmental laws, and training on resource management planning, enterprise development and environmental law enforcement, will enable fisherfolk to take an active role in formulating appropriate local plans and policies attuned to their needs.  Enabling communities to secure tenure over their land and resources will strengthen community participation and interest in conserving resource-rich areas. 

The proposed program has the following objectives:

3.0 Resource Use Conflicts in Ulugan Bay

Ulugan Bay’s resources are threatened by illegal fishing, logging and quarrying activities as well as development projects such as the proposed naval base in the bay.  Tenure issues also abound in the area, especially among indigenous peoples, farmers and fisherfolk.

To address the need for conservation, various barangays in Ulugan Bay have identified watershed areas for protection. In Barangay Macarascas, volunteers, NGOs and barangay council members conducted several activities for the purpose of setting aside and declaring Conical Hill as a watershed area for the barangay residents of Macarascas. Other activities included the following:

One controversial issue in Ulugan Bay concerns the proposed naval base.  Since the early 1990s, the Western Command in Palawan has been expressing its intention of establishing a naval base in Ulugan Bay.  One barangay that has consistently registered its opposition to the proposed project is Barangay Macarascas.  In 1997 and 1999, barangay officials of Macarascas passed resolutions vehemently opposing the establishment of a naval base in the bay area. In addition, the barangay residents have submitted various petitions to local and national officials to express their opposition to the proposed project.

In response to the request of the barangay officials and residents, the city government has organized several community consultations and dialogues with the Western Command.  However, the information relayed by the navy officials in most of these consultations was very general.  The navy personnel could not present a detailed written project description on the proposed naval base.  The lack of specificity and detail on the proposed naval base has aggravated the fears and skepticism among barangay residents.  To date, barangay residents are again preparing another petition to renew their opposition to the project.

The main issues identified in this conflict include the limitations on access rights, oil spills, impact on biodiversity (e.g. mangroves) and land ownership rights. Stakeholders include the fisherfolk, farmers, barangay officials, local communities, the public, and environmental groups/NGOs.

While no agreement has been reached to resolve this issue, some proposals for a wise practice agreement in this situation include the following:


Wise Practice Management and Related Issues in the Sä’anapu / Sätaoa, Samoa, CSI Project

Mr. Asofou So’o and Ms. Lagi Kelemete

1.0 The Field Project

Located on the south-western coast of Upolu Island in the Samoa group are the adjacent villages of Sä’anapu and Sätaoa. On the coastal region of the two villages, their respective mangrove swamps join, thus giving the impression of a single mangrove area that spreads across the borders of the two villages.  This mangrove ecosystem has been declared a preserved area by both villages and the State Department of Land, Survey and Environment.  This is the site of the Sä’anapu – Sätaoa CSI project.

There are two components of this CSI project.  Component 1 attempts to preserve the area’s biodiversity through the participation of teachers and pupils in the separate primary schools of the two villages.  Its two main sub-components include biodiversity-awareness campaigns and the involvement of students and teachers of the National University of Samoa (NUS).  The first sub-component involves classroom activities where teachers show pupils the importance of mangroves and how to preserve mangrove ecosystems for the long-term benefit of the local community.  These activities are carried out in the normal subject programmes of the school, such as in social studies lessons, and in environmental awareness activities.

At specified times, the two lecturers of the NUS who are involved in the project take their students (biology and environment classes) to the project site where NUS students carry out practical components of the courses they take as credits for their NUS qualifications.  At other times, the NUS teachers take primary school pupils to the project site, where they will be involved in basic scientific skills like measuring the distance between mangroves, measuring the depth of the water at various times in the mangrove areas, and so forth.  In this way pupils get a feel of the real environment in which mangroves grow.  Furthermore, the practical experience implants in the minds of pupils the significance of the mangrove environment and the life resources it supports.

The second component of the project involves traditional knowledge.  Three people are involved in this component.  Their main objective is to retrieve from members of the local community, traditional knowledge associated with the use and preservation of mangrove resources.  Unfortunately, much traditional knowledge associated with the management of resources has already been lost most probably because of the effects of modernisation following the adoption of Christianity among other influences.

2.0 Issues Causing Conflicts

Possible issues causing conflicts in this project could be explained at different levels, although they are all directly or indirectly associated with the ultimate authorities in both villages, the council of chiefs.  Before going any further, it is necessary to explain the socio-political structures of local communities and their associated roles and sphere of authorities.  Like all villages of Samoa, the villages of Sä’anapu and Sätaoa are separately governed by their respective village councils comprising all the chiefs (matai) of the village.  Chiefs are elected for life by members of their respective families to be their representatives in the village council, among other chiefly responsibilities.  The council of chiefs makes village laws, executes them and is also the judge to interpret the laws.  Outsiders wanting to come into the village for things like setting up projects have to pass through the village council.  It is this aspect of village government that could stand in the way of village developments.

Members of the local community in both villages tell us that the project is working smoothly now, but it was not the case when it first started.  The reason being that the village council of chiefs wanted to handle everything associated with the project, in anticipation that money and other material benefits would be gained through involvement in the project.  Traditionally, outsiders (or guests) coming into the village have to be officially welcomed by the supreme authority in the village, the council of chiefs.  Among other things, it involves the guests presenting gifts such as money and material goods to the hosts.  According to the village people we spoke with, more often than not, these presents are either distributed by the chiefs among their number, or if distributed to other village sub-organisations, the chiefs often get the biggest share of the cake.

Another set of problems associated with projects of this nature that may give rise to conflicts is related to land ownership.  Land belongs to the families comprising the village.  A family may disagree with a village resolution to be part of the project.  In which case, the project could not go ahead.  It could be a collective family decision not to be part of the project.  However, it could also happen that there might be a family dispute over a piece of land within the project site.  In this case, one section of the family might support the village decision relating to the project while the other half of the family would not support the village decision.  It could happen that the section of the family together with the rest of the village would give the go-ahead.  The other section of the family which does not agree with the village would try to block the implementation of the village decision.  This could be done by lodging an official complaint with the Land and Titles Court of Samoa.  Court proceedings of this nature often take years before any decision is handed down.  Meanwhile the project has come to a complete halt.

Quarrels between and among village families could also become a stumbling block to projects of this nature.  As long as some families do not agree with some issue associated with the project, or even an issue that has nothing to do with the project at all, village unanimity would not be forthcoming, thereby frustrating any efforts towards establishing or continuing the project.

There could also be problems associated with the on-going management and maintenance of the project.  For example, even though rules for the maintenance of the project had been passed in the village council, on-going policing of those rules is necessary.  If the village council is not united at the time during which the rules are enforced it is possible that village regulations could be merely words.

Given the vital role of the village council in all matters associated with village government, it is the village council that would pose the most serious problem to the success of the project.  Ultimate village authority rests with the council of chiefs.  What it decides or says is the law of the land regardless of whether it is based on rational grounds.  If the predominant chief – because of traditional rank and associated authority – makes the final decision for the village council against the continuity of the project, because of personal jealousy against a family which might gain more from the project than the other families, he could stop the continuity of the project there and then.  Although village council authority is vitally important when it comes to accepting and continuing a project, it cannot be assumed that the decision of yesterday would be upheld today and into the future because of personal reasons.  This is why State Departments are extra cautious that they get the support of village councils and that they do not do anything that might arouse the anger and distrust of village councils.  

3.0 Possible Solutions to Conflicts

The Samoan solution to the problems already mentioned can be compared to those already identified at the Maputo Mozambique Workshop on ‘Wise practices for coastal conflict prevention and resolution’ (19 – 23 Nov 2001), though perhaps with a slight variation.  The Maputo solution is to identify all the stakeholders and bring them together in a participatory manner so as to try and build consensus and agreement.  The same strategy can be applied to the Samoan situation.  All village families with land interests in the project site could be brought together right from the start of the project in order for them to understand the rationale behind the project and more importantly how the local community might benefit.  Hopefully if all stakeholders understand, appreciate and accept the rationale of the project it would be followed by full cooperation and readiness to accept compromises.  The only slight difference in the Samoan situation is that the ultimate authority lies with the council of chiefs.  It reigns supreme.  So much so that the project coordinators need to obtain the trust of village councils in order to ascertain and maintain their full and on-going support.  A dilemma often arises out of the need to uphold village trust in situations where the village council may be doing something contrary to the wish of the project coordinators.  The point is that though cooperation and trust of village councils are necessary for the success of projects of this kind, it will always be an uneasy relationship because the village council could change its mind along the way depending on situations and circumstances initiated by the project that it might feel threatening to its power.


Wise Practice Agreements in the Melanesian Region: Mutual Agreements Over Resource Management, Access and Use

Mr. Linus digim’Rina and Mr. Haraka G. Gaudi

1.0 Background

In Papua New Guinea and Melanesia as a whole, land and sea are owned or associated with a group of people who trace their links by ‘blood.’ The transactions and transmissions between and within generations are guided by the same criteria. The national constitution that was created in 1975 enshrines these traditional property rights. 

However, certain tracts of land were annexed by the state during the colonial times, altering the traditional concepts of land ownership. 

Another issue faced in Papua New Guinea is an increase in migration to urban areas and overpopulation in smaller coral atolls. This has exacerbated the pressure on equitable resource distribution and efficient management of natural resources.

Unfortunately, the state laws relating to land management and monitoring are often cumbersome, ambiguous and inefficient. Uncontrolled compensation claims, illegal settlement on others’ lands, illicit leases and rental arrangements are becoming increasingly common.

2.0 Proposed Solutions

The state of Papua New Guinea is presently faced with the dilemma of instituting a foreign rule and structure upon a population that is keen on continuing its traditional rules and practices. A positive aspect of this is that individuals and groups will only choose to use rules, laws and principles that are favourable to their own situation. Hence, neither the state laws and procedures nor the traditional sets would take precedence over each other. Whether one does at the expense of the other will be very much dependent upon the context of the issue and the proximity of the issue to the person concerned. The question of equality might therefore be expended and relegated to the backstage.

Many Papua New Guineans find themselves operating within such a combination of traditional and state procedures. As the primary resource is usually LAND and SPACE/TERRITORY, the most commonly known stakeholders are landowners and land users. The landowners provide the lease for use, traditionally up to a season of cultivation, while the state presently provides leases of up to ninety years. There are two major types of landowners: the traditional groups (clans, usually patrilineages or matrilineages) and the state (including church groups and business corporations). Secondary to these main resource owners are those who have temporal rights on the land either through marriage, long standing close association or some historical relatedness.

In all circumstances, resource use, access and management are subject to certain accepted principles, procedures and conditions. The present state laws relating to land management have so far been inadequate and ambiguous mainly because they have not been properly adapted into the traditionally ensconced procedures of resource access and use.

In our view, the traditional procedures of resource access and use (i.e. tenure) are straightforward enough to be adapted into modern lease and rental arrangements. They are simple to understand and administer amongst the people, including in modern social and economic relations. Those principles, rules and procedures must be revisited and made plain for a more effective administration. Wise practice agreements are indeed built around mutual understanding between parties concerned. This mutual understanding embraces a variety of dimensions including knowledge of the cultural procedures, accepting and respecting the varied positions and statuses of each stakeholder in relation to the resource, and becoming an active implementing participant in the whole process. It must be noted that such relations are not always equal as historical proximity to the resource often determines one’s status in these relations.

Where there is a breach of an agreement, complaints are made known through a variety of symbolic gestures intended to impinge the perpetrator’s progress on the resource use and access. The fact that the party who breached an agreement might feel embarrassed or ashamed is a sign of a mutual agreement that works. A lack of trust and respect of each   stakeholders claim to the resource is a sign of a failed mutual agreement. All mutually arrived at ‘wise practice agreements’ cover all areas, including the mountains, seas and rivers. All agreements are limited by the extent of the claim of any group vis-à-vis counter claims from neighbouring groups.

Land held by traditional landowners in the two major cities of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby and Lae, has been largely annexed by the state and labelled Crown Land, to the extent that the landowners’ faint demands for recognition of their strong historical association with the land has been ignored. The state instead continues to develop and manage land that was forcibly claimed some ninety years ago.

The state must begin to include the landowners in administering the so-called alienated land of the traditional local landowners. The rules and procedures of those societies ought to be rewritten in light of integration with the present social and economic arrangements.

An added problem is whereby urban migrants from other parts of the country are gradually occupying pockets of land left undeveloped in the urban areas. Where migrants initially seek permission from a traditional landowner for indefinite occupation of certain portions of land, the migrant is made to pay rental rates to the ‘landlord,’ to sustain a harmonious relation between the parties concerned. This is all done without the knowledge the relevant state agencies. All else is mutually agreed upon insofar as respect of each other’s rights and space is concerned.

However, the problematic aspect of such mutual agreements is that the state does not recognise nor is it usually aware of these agreements. Hence, if and when the state decides to lease an area of land to a developer, it usually proceeds unhindered by the presence of squatters on those pieces of land. In these cases, sudden evacuations are not uncommon.

What is needed to solve some of these problems is a more effective dialogue between the state and the traditional landowners. It is during these dialogues that mutual agreements can be arranged to cater for the needs of both migrant settlers and landowners of alienated land.


Identification of Sources of Conflicts and Evaluating the Potential Role of Wise Practice Agreements for Jakarta Bay and the Seribu Islands

Mr. Warief Djajanto Basorie, Ms. Christien Ismuranty, and Mr. Jan H. Steffen


Jakarta Bay lies to the north of Jakarta and receives freshwater runoff from thirteen rivers that run through the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, a conurbation that is home to some 20 million people.  The shallow bay with an average depth of 15 m contains an archipelago of small, low-lying islands - Kepulauan Seribu, referred to in this presentation as the Seribu Islands.  With the expansion of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area during the second half of the 20th century, the environment of Jakarta Bay and the Seribu Islands have been significantly affected by a range of human activities as well as natural forces. The impacts of pollution, natural ecosystem transformation and non-sustainable coastal resource exploitation are being increasingly felt.

In 1996 the region became the focus of a pilot project run by UNESCO's intersectoral platform on Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (CSI).  This pilot project ‘Reducing the impact of a coastal megacity on island ecosystems, Jakarta Bay and the Seribu Islands’ attempts to alleviate the pressures being placed on Jakarta Bay and the islands through community-based solid waste management and the development of alternative livelihoods for people living in the area, while monitoring the status of the local coral reefs and other marine resources. This paper describes the current situation, assesses the project activities, and analyses the potential use of Wise Practice Agreements in addressing crucial resource use issues.

1.0 Introduction

The Jakarta Metropolitan Area, or Jabotabek, is the main centre of economic activity in Indonesia. Moreover, Jabotabek has the largest concentration of urban population in Indonesia and the seventh largest urban agglomeration in the world. In 1999, Jabotabek had an estimated population of nearly 20 million, which is expected to exceed 30 million by the year 2010. Jakarta with about half of the metropolitan population, occupies 660 km2 within Jabotabek's total area of 5,500 km2. The annual population growth rate of Jabotabek during the period 1980-1990 was 3.7%, nearly twice as much as the 2.0% national annual population growth rate.

The massive demographic and economic growth taking place in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area has created environment-related coastal problems such as disturbed water cycle, deficient waste management (both collection and disposal), unsustainable coastal resource exploitation, etc. Despite this situation, the Jabotabek development plans, policies and regulations have not historically recognized Jakarta Bay and Kepulauan Seribu as ecologically and socio-economically important sub-components of the Jabotabek area. In fact, most development programs of the Jabotabek area are still inland oriented. The recent declaration of the Seribu Islands as a Kabupaten, or district, indicates a significant policy change in the frame of the local autonomy era. Since many threats regarding the ecological integrity of the Seribu Islands do no not originate in the Kabupaten region but rather in the coastal Jabotabek area and the related water catchment areas, close cooperation among district governments and all stakeholders will be essential in the process towards long term sustainable solutions.

Jakarta Bay is mostly shallow, with an average depth of 15m, and covers an area of about 514 km2. The Seribu Islands are a widespread archipelago within the Bay, which consists of 108 islands, and are distributed as a chain stretching along some 80 km in a northwest to southeast direction and 30 km from west to east. The islands are typically small (less than 10 ha on average) and reach an elevation of less than 3 m above sea level in general. They are ecologically fragile and vulnerable, with three of the 108 islands of Kepulauan Seribu having disappeared in the last 15 years. The small size, limited resources, geographic dispersion and isolation from local markets, disadvantage the islands economically and prevent economies of scale.

The environmental degradation in the Jakarta Bay and Kepulauan Seribu can be classified into three principle categories: chemical, physical and biological deterioration.  The main causes of degradation include a) pollution; b) transformation of natural ecosystem; c) non-sustainable coastal resource exploitation; d) social issues; and e) policy based issues.

2.0  Main Causes of Degradation

2.1  Pollution

Chemical pollution:  Jakarta Bay functions as the waste-water disposal site for the Jakarta Metropolitan Area. The entire waste-water production of Jakarta, transported by 13 rivers which pass through the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, ends up in the Jakarta Bay. In addition, the rivers bring a considerable amount of solid waste into the Bay, either floating or suspended in the river water. Direct discharges into the Bay through the dumping of dredging spoils and sledges also take place. The water and sediment in Jakarta Bay have high concentrations of several heavy metals, with certain areas experiencing deoxidization and anaerobic conditions. There are 4 principal sources for chemical pollution: industrial activities, households, agricultural activities and cyanide fishing practices.

Solid Waste: This type of pollution represents suspended or floating matter in the seawater and on the beaches. Like dissolved matter, the suspended and floating matter found in Jakarta Bay seawater comes from industrial waste, household waste, urban construction and agricultural activities. Solid waste pollution is often also caused by beach littering. During UNESCO’s workshop on Human-Induced Damage to Coral Reefs in 1985, the extent of solid waste pollution was measured. Twenty-four islands in the Seribu Islands were examined. (See status of coral communities of Seribu Islands)

Eighteen of the twenty-four islands surveyed in 1985 were again investigated in 1995. Two of the islands were not surveyed because they no longer existed, as a result of the death and destruction of the formerly surrounding reefs and the consequent erosion of the islands. The survey results show that the total litter on shore has increased by a factor of about two during the last ten years. In 1985, only one transect exceeded 1,000 items of garbage per 50 m. Ten years later, 6 transects exceeded 1,000 items per 50m.

The service level for solid waste management is not better than for liquid waste. Inadequate solid waste collection, transport and disposal, have major negative economic impacts on the water cycle, and constitute a health risk. In 1996/1997, the Jakarta daily garbage production was about 25,578 m3. An estimated 40% of the solid waste generated daily does not reach official disposal sites, and much of the waste finds its way to drains and rivers, causing pollution, flooding and nuisance (partly caused by the topography of the city). The remainder is dumped informally or left on vacant land and is a source of groundwater contamination. Solid waste burning is estimated to contribute to up to 20% of particulate and 11% of hydrocarbons in local air pollution. As the 13 rivers flow through the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, they pick up large amounts of disposed effluents and solid wastes originating from domestic and industrial sources (around 1,400 m3 per day). The disposal of solid waste in water bodies not only degrades water quality but also causes clogging of drains, which in turn causes flooding of the low lying northern coastal areas.

2.2 Further land based issues

2.3 Marine and island based issues

Blast fishing, the technique of using explosives to stun or kill fish, is an extremely damaging practice. In addition to indiscriminately killing target and non-target fish and invertebrates of all but the largest size classes, blasts commonly damage or destroy the reef framework itself. Repeated blasting on the same reef can result in reefs that are little more than rubble fields punctuated by an occasional massive coral head. Coral recovery in these situations is unlikely, given the unconsolidated, shifting nature of rubble as a recruitment substrate. Damage from the use of explosives takes the form of both broken coral reefs and the death of fish of all species and sizes. The time needed for a 50% coral recovery may exceed 40 years in most cases. While blast fishing is illegal in Indonesia, it is still very common throughout the archipelago, particularly on remote, uninhabited reefs where the threat of enforcement is reduced. This has resulted in a rather paradoxical situation in which the reefs most distant from human habitation are frequently the ones most intensively destroyed.

Blast fishing was one of the most widespread and devastating practices of destructive fishing observed in 1985, but it was neither observed nor mentioned during the 1995 survey. Blast fishing works best on dense aggregations of fish, now an uncommon occurrence in the Seribu Islands. It seems likely that blast fishing is economically unviable on the reefs surrounding the Seribu Islands today.

Cyanide fishing involves the use of sodium cyanide solution to stun fish for live collection and is a widespread destructive fishing practice in the Seribu Islands. Prior to 1990, the main targets of cyanide fishing were ornamental fish and invertebrates for the aquarium trade. In the years following 1990, cyanide fishing was used to catch live food fish, which is usually sold to luxury restaurants where the fish are displayed in aquariums for selection by wealthy diners. Consumers will pay phenomenal prices, usually 5-8 times the price of comparable dead fish. A fisherman can receive 2 to 25 times more for a live grouper than for a dead one. Unfortunately, cyanide fishing appears to be the most destructive practice observed in the Seribu Islands.

Sand mining: Large-scale sand mining started during the construction of the harbors in the Jakarta Bay area. In the 1970s, sand extraction for building activities occurred on a small scale and was carried out manually.  Since the 1980s, extraction has become more and more intensive. It is generally an activity with great importance for the economies of various small communities along the coastline. Despite regulations banning the exploitation of sand, gravel and boulders issued by the local government, extensive dredging activities have provided construction material for the international airport at Cengkareng.

Coral extraction: The exploitation of coral started during the early part of the last century. In the 1930s there was an annual removal of 8,500-20,000 cubic meters of coral rock in the Seribu Islands. Since then, it has been claimed that the scale of exploitation has escalated with values in 1982 double those recorded in 1979. The most significant removal of coral rock in Jakarta Bay has been around the islands of Air Kecil and Ubi Kecil. As a result of subsequent erosion, both islands have now disappeared. Ubi Besar island has been eroding rapidly as the area surrounding the reef has been dredged.

2.4 Social issues

2.5  Policy based issues

3.0 Ongoing Activities of the UNESCO Jakarta Office Towards Sustainable Jakarta Bay and Seribu Islands Development

3.1  Scientific campaign and monitoring of the coral reefs in the Seribu Islands

Results of monitoring and research activities on coral reefs in the Seribu Islands since 1969 indicate that the condition of the coral reefs has worsened. To assess the current status of the coral communities, UNESCO organized three workshops since 1985 and supported the collection of scientific data on the status of the coral reefs in the Seribu Islands.

Workshop on human-induced damage to coral reefs, 1985: The aim of this workshop was to train participants in the assessment of human-induced damage to coral reefs and islands, using standard methods of mapping and surveillance of both terrestrial and underwater habitats. In addition, specific techniques for measuring the condition of reefs at different sites were tested and employed. The workshop was divided into three sections: (1) a training section focusing on methodology of data collection, data assessment and practical exercises in the laboratory and field; (2) long-term surveillance of reefs; and (3) data analysis by computer.

Over 550 man-hours were spent collecting data on the geomorphology of the islands and on the biological status of the surrounding coral reefs. Measurements of coral growth were taken along a pollution gradient from Jakarta Bay to the outermost point of the Seribu Islands, some 80 km from the coast. During the workshop 30 islands were visited and surveyed. The results of the exercise show that the condition of many of the reefs had deteriorated.

Coral reef evaluation workshop Pulau Seribu, 1995: In 1995, the reefs from inner Jakarta Bay to around 70 km offshore in the Seribu Island National Park were re-evaluated. Three groups of reefs were studied, arbitrarily chosen based on oceanography, reef geomorphology and distance from the mainland. Reefs in the inner-region (15km from coast) exhibited deterioration from 1985 to 1995 and remained in very poor condition, with a coral cover of less than 5 %. Water quality was poor, with massive blooms of plankton in the nutrient-enriched bay waters. Water quality improved as distance from Jakarta increased. Coral cover in mid-region reefs (15-50km offshore) remained at about 20%. Reefs of the outer-region (>50km from coast) exhibited a significant decline in coral cover, from 30 % in 1985 to 20 % in 1995.

The reefs of the three regions are subject to different impacts and disturbance regimes. The inner region reefs are most affected by poor water quality, coral reef mining, waste disposal, and runoff from agricultural activities. However, the reefs of the mid- and outer- regions are being destroyed by both human impacts, such as destructive fishing practices (blasting, cyanide fishing, muro-ami fishing, bagan lift net) and natural impacts, such as outbreaks of crown-of thorns starfish.

Coral reef management workshop for Pulau Seribu, 1996: This workshop provided a follow-up to the workshop on Coral Reef Evaluation held in 1995. The objective of the workshop was to formulate inputs for the conservation of biodiversity to encourage sustainable development in coastal areas while bearing in mind the social and cultural aspects of the local inhabitants. The activities of the workshop consisted of lectures by experts, panel discussions and field trips to observe coral reef conditions in the waters of Kepulauan Seribu, the effects of construction in Pari Island, the locations of submerged small islands, and the human settlements at Untung Jawa Island.

The participants put three suggestions for action forward during the workshop: (1) a greater focus on island-based community development; (2) involvement of tourist resorts in voluntary environmental management initiatives at both island and inter-island levels; and (3) initiation of land-based waste treatment such as composting and recycling. The first and last of these three suggestions have been realized since 1996.

3.2 Community-based development for sustainable coastal management

In 1996, the Jakarta Bay and Kepulauan Seribu region became one of UNESCO's pilot projects to implement intersectoral activities for sustainable small islands and coastal management and development under the Coastal Regions and Small Islands (CSI) platform. The pilot project attempts to deal with the problems created by a tropical coastal mega-city.

While mono-sectoral efforts to resolve environmental and development-related problems have shown their limitations, holistic inter-sectoral approaches are making solid advances towards achieving sustainable human development. Launched in 1996, as a component of UNESCO’s Fourth Medium-Term Strategy (1996-2001), the CSI - Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform puts into practice the Organisation’s primary comparative advantage: its capacity for integrated action involving Natural and Social Sciences, Culture, Education and Communication.

Efforts to reduce pressure on Jakarta Bay and Kepulauan Seribu requires immediate action in two directions: (1) improvement in Jakarta's waste management and recycling in order to reduce the waste that flows from the city to the coastal sea; and (2) initiation of socio-economic sustainable development measures in the local communities living on the islands and along Jakarta Bay.

3.3 Social empowerment

In the Kronjo fishing village, training for women in producing home made ‘fish and shrimp chips’ was carried out to support alternative income generating activities. The modest trial training succeeded and resulted in small business groups selling the chips. The ‘We Care Foundation’, in cooperation with UNESCO, supported communities by providing emergency measures during times of crisis, such as covering school fees and providing basic needs such as rice, noodles and milk for 269 students. The foundation is also planning to renovate school buildings, which are currently in poor condition. After initial activities within the CSI programme, the fishing community of Kronjo is now being supported by several organizations.

4.0  Conclusions

Research conducted in Jakarta Bay and in the City of Jakarta identified waste management as a pressing need and the UNESCO-CSI project acts as a facilitator in trying to unify and link the agencies involved in combating this problem, particularly local community groups, NGOs, government organisations and the media.  A ‘Clean up Jakarta Bay’ campaign was organised in parts of Jakarta, mainland coastal areas, the urban core and the Seribu Islands. This was followed by grass-roots programmes on waste management, recycling and composting. There was widespread support within the communities for these activities, which provided some income for the principal participants.

A more general issue was the need to create awareness of Jakarta’s waste problem throughout the wider community. This is being achieved by developing public-oriented programmes on waste management, reporting on new techniques and successes within the projects underway, and initiating complementary environmental awareness campaigns. However, some activities have been hampered as attitudes have proven difficult to change, even among those directly involved in waste management activities.

Improving the transfer of information to the public about new practices can only occur through interaction between the various groups involved, such as government agencies, NGOs and the media. The media are the most important partner in achieving the goal of information transfer. Good examples of Jakarta communities involved in recycling activities should form the basis for a larger campaign encouraging other waste management initiatives. Such campaigns need to target specific groups such as health system workers, municipal cleaning services, neighbourhood groups and chronic polluters. Raising social awareness is necessary to maintain the continuity of community-based waste management initiatives.

The most important step in terms of policy reform is to acknowledge and encourage the role of the community in solid waste management. Communities involved in waste processing, for the most part, live in poor conditions and would benefit greatly from additional legal protection from polluters and from statutory sanitary measures. Other objectives may include land provision for community waste processing units; mandatory waste-separation at the domestic level; and compulsory composting for municipal markets. Waste management should begin with economic and environmental assessments of the communities’ contributions to waste reduction. Subsequently, a system of financial incentives may be needed to implement waste management guidelines at the regional level. Macro-level policy reform would likely bring quicker and more widespread results.

A wise practice agreement has so far been difficult to reach due to a number of different challenges:

5.0 Recommendations

Besides providing solutions to specific issues as listed above, we consider it important to reflect on the big picture of the complex and interlinked problems of the programme area.  The often mentioned ‘no action, talk only’ mentality may become a valuable addition to narrowly focused activism, if it provides the opportunity for holistic analysis of the underlying root problems. A well-designed conceptual model might help to identify and address these core issues with specific benchmarks in mind.  The conceptual model should address issues from the local community level through regional levels and also to non-spatial problems such as culture, religion, moral values, etc. 

Two major lessons regarding wise practice identification and development were learned during the analysis of the Jakarta Bay and the Seribu Islands project. Although a given practice may be considered wise - being in line with the 16 wise practice characteristics developed on earlier CSI workshops - it might fail to address an underlying key or core issue. On the other hand, a practice accepted by all stakeholders could turn out to be not of universal value but rather represent a “survival of the fittest practice”, by being best adapted to present circumstances.

It was found that a wise practice agreement is only likely to be sustainable if an equal amount of effort is spent on the long term implementation as was invested in the preparation of the agreement. 

Poverty remains a major reason for the decline in environmental quality in Jakarta Bay and the Seribu Islands. Negative feedback loops leading to a decline in the environment’s carrying capacity may in turn increase poverty. Environmental management and poverty alleviation are therefore important co-dependent targets for sustainable development of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area.

Based on the studies and project activities, it is clear that the future initiatives in community-based development should include the four sectors of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area: small islands (Seribu Islands), mainland coastal areas, the urban core and upstream water catchment areas.

Community-based development activities in the Seribu Islands will increasingly focus on improving and preserving the environmental quality of small islands with a high population density, such as Pari, Kelapa, Panggang, Tidung, Untung Jawa and Harapan Islands. Policy analysis regarding the new district status and provision of available environmental information will be essential to support the local authorities and stakeholders.

Conditions in the mainland coastal areas depend on the stakeholders’ capacity to balance the farming or culture of marine resources (e.g. fish, seaweed and pearls) with conservation goals.

In urban areas, such as Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi and Depok, the main target group are the inhabitants of local kampungs, who will be assisted through solid waste management activities, which may in turn create jobs; retraining workers and their families in small-scale commercial enterprises, marketing and entrepreneurship; and expanding job opportunities for women and high school drop-outs. Environmental education remains to be more consistently included in formal and informal educational programmes.

The majority of the population living upstream from Jakarta work as farmers. Activities in this area should focus on soil conservation and pest management in rice growing and vegetable farming through training small-scale farmers in environmentally sound agricultural practices; documenting the economic benefits of an integrated farming system; and working with local NGOs in environmental management and advocacy.

While the overall approach for future action will focus particularly at the community level through social empowerment and poverty alleviation activities, co-operation with government, academic institutions and the private sector may lead to the development of effective public-private partnerships. 



  Introduction Activities Publications search
Wise practices Regions Themes