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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
   Alleviating Poverty through the Environment (Environment)
 Jakarta Bay
Community development and income generation through waste recycling

The coastal area of Jakarta, Indonesia, is characterised by both fishing and coastal villages of very poor people and the enormous impact of a megacity's waste and effluent. Within the villages close to the ocean there is poor sanitation and other basic services, garbage is dumped randomly, flooding is common and most people live below the poverty line. The impact of these conditions plus those of the larger city that stands further away from the coast extends well out into Jakarta Bay and the region's 'Thousand Island'or Pulau Seribu ocean zone. Following 12 years of monitoring the impact of the city on deterioration of Pulau Seribu's coral reef ecology, UNESCO launched a community-centred project in 1995 to seek to manage the impact.

Focus, through a multi-sector - science and social science approach, has been on development of waste recycling for the village people along the bay and on the islands as an income generating activity. Working with local NGOs and Indonesian scientific and academic institutions, UNESCO has developed simple waste-recycling techniques for village use, built two community waste-recycling centres, demonstrated the potential savings in local community markets of 30 percent of waste through the approach, trained children in paper recycling as well as in the construction of well designed paper products (now marketed through a Japanese commercial outlet), and developed income generating compost production (with two levels of quality).

An experimental duck farming project was launched in 1998 on one island, Pulau Pari - again utilising waste for food, and producing eggs and ducks for subsequent expansion of the project to other islands. The community centres that have been established now are being managed by the local communities and increasingly used for wider purposes, for example, community education, training of women in cooking foods that can be sold on the streets, and as places where the different ethnic community groups surrounding the centres -located in slum areas - can meet and develop a positive shared dialogue, thus serving to reduce tensions that have been problematic during Indonesia's current economic and social crisis.

Progress and Promise

  • Community waste recycling techniques -utilising worm farming composting - developed, demonstrated and applied in several village communities along Jakarta Bay.
  • Training programmes implemented for schools, teachers (to allow expansion of school activities), university students, fishing communities, scavangers
  • Two community centres built, trained groups from these centres, now assisting the expansion of the programme
  • Duck farming introduced (with 350 ducks) on the island of Pulau Pari - about to be expanded in mid-1999


  • The majority of Jakarta Bay coastal communities consist of people living below the poverty line, in hovels, in conditions of poor sanitation, degraded and 'rubished'environment
  • Participatory approach, mult-sectoral from UNESCO -CSI, MAB, Social Sciences, Education
  • Science-based reef assessment project led to community-centred action project, that now provides secondary benefits of community dialogue and education

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