Whether it’s through tourism or fisheries, the people of the Thousand Islands depend on their abundant coastal resources as a significant source of income. Unfortunately, climate change has led to changes in their coastal ecosystems and is now considered a threat to their livelihoods. In order to build community resilience against the effects of climate change, climate education is crucial – not only to raise awareness but also to increase communities’ involvement and action in protecting their own environments.
This activity aims to educate the local community about climate change and its threats to small islands, in order to increase awareness of the importance of environmental conservation activities, especially in coastal ecosystems. Participants are then provided with the tools to be more aware of climate-change-related events in the past, present, and future.
This activity was carried out in conjunction with Carbon Ethics’ teamwork program, which aims to make the public aware of the teamwork plan as well as act as a forum to exchange opinions and ideas. The following is a summary of the activities conducted on each island:
a. Pramuka Island
Climate change education and socialization of work programs were conveyed to representatives of local organizations within the community. Through this process, we were able to interactively discuss the effects of climate change experienced by the people of Pramuka Island. One of the problems that the community faces is the difficulty in overcoming a large amount of garbage that washes ashore from the ocean, especially during the western season. The community suggested empowering young people by involving them in our foundation’s activities, such as by serving as tourism operators in our ecotourism program. Additionally, the community hopes that Carbon Ethics will be able to bridge the gap between the community and the government to ensure that government programs on the island run effectively.
b. Harapan Island
During our visit to Harapan Island, the community expressed a strong desire to be trained in the processing and development of mangrove plants in order to benefit the community economically. The community has had difficulties utilizing Rhizophora mangroves, despite the fact that this species is commonly found on Harapan Island. As such, they would like to learn about planting other types of mangroves, as well as processing Rhizophora species more effectively. The community is also keen to explore additional ways of utilizing mangrove vegetation on the island. Economic development could also be given a boost within the tourism sector if the mangrove forests can be used for ecotourism.
The community expressed concern about the lack of utilization of the coastal ecosystem from an economic perspective, as well as the lack of cooperation between various stakeholders. Our effort to address these problems will include:
- education related to the importance of coastal ecosystems, which mainly involves youth;
- education on the types and use of mangroves;
- research on other types of mangrove nurseries;
- developing mangrove products for ecotourism as well as goods and seaweed; and
- coordination with stakeholders regarding conservation and tourism regulations, particularly regarding mangrove planting locations that are agreed by stakeholders.