It was unthinkable beforehand if the application of ASC Shrimp Standards for PT Bomar in Pallameang and Patobong Village, Mattirosompe District, Pinrang Regency, South Sulawesi, could have broad implications, in terms of mangrove rehabilitation, which extends to other districts besides Pinrang.
In principle 2 of the ASC, a BEIA (Biodiversity Environmental Impact Assessment) report is required which describes the impact of the farm and pond activities on the ecosystems and biodiversity. Through this report, PT Bomar is required to rehabilitate the mangrove ecosystems covering an area of 28.47 Ha, which is half of the area of the ponds that wish to be certified, totaling of 56.95 Ha.
For that particular reason, since July 2017, mangrove planting has begun in the vicinity of PT Bomar, in Pallameang, Pinrang. No less than 1,000 trees were planted in the Pallameang area until January 2018, but it ultimately failed because the location nearby has quite many goats roaming around and eating the mangrove leaves. This failure is a valuable lesson for the field team to find locations where there are no goat presences.
Then in June 2018, a large-scale planting finally showed results, after planting 4450 trees along the Pallameang and Patobong waterways and the coast of Tasiwali’e Village, Suppa, which was difficult for the goats to access. The success rate is more than 70%. Even so, the area covered has only been 1,284 hectares. This progress is a challenge for WWF, the need to pursue a much larger area in a short period of time.
The previous experience was indeed quite challenging, added with the planting on the coast of Tasiwalie and Wiringtasi villages, Suppa District in July 2018, which demonstrate low results of less than 50%. Since that moment on, a more mature strategy was developed, to correctly plant mangroves in the right location, using good seeds and organize volunteers for mangrove planting.
Reflecting on the Mangrove Planting Experience
Aquaculture Celebes Community (ACC) is a strategic partner of WWF-Indonesia for mangrove rehabilitation, previously organized more than 80 youth from Makassar, Pinrang and Pare-Pare. The ACC now joined amongst other community of nature lovers, forming a key organization of mangrove rehabilitation volunteers, that is the Garda Mangrove, formed on July 26, 2018.
Together with the help of ACC and Garda Mangrove, who routinely identified locations of potential mangrove planting, such as the Wiringtasi, Ujung Labuang and Cempa in Pinrang District, shows a decent level of survival rate. Likewise with continued planting in areas outside of Pinrang Regency, the 2000 mangroves in Bulu Cindea Village, Bungoro District, Pangkep Regency shows a figure of around 70%, as well as planting 3,000 mangroves in Bonto Bahari Village, Bontoa District, Maros Regency shows a figure above 70%. In fact, in some remote areas, such as in Puntondo, Laikang District, Takalar Regency, planting 5,000 trees shows a far better number, which is 90 percent. The same thing happened in planting 5000 seedlings in Gonda, Loliko Village, Campalagian District, Polewali Mandar Regency, located in West Sulawesi.
Until September 22, 2019, after planting 3,000 mangrove seeds in Binasangkara, Ampekale Village, Bontoa District, Maros Regency, 55,885 mangrove seedlings were planted, with an area thought to be 12 hectares. That means there are still 2.2 hectares left to be planted before the external audit of ASC Shrimp representatives to PT Bomar, the planting of the mangrove seeds is supported and funded from the JCCU (Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union) of Japan.
In addition to rehabilitating coastal land to become a mangrove ecosystem, this activity also encourages the love of the coastal environment for the young generation of South Sulawesi. Imagined if every mangrove planting activity always involves youth/students between 30-70 people.
The youth involved are young people who are members of KPA or Nature Lovers Group and youth who lives in villages nearby where mangroves are planted, such as local youth organizations or village youth associations. In some mangrove planting agendas, it should always be accompanied by discussion sessions on the importance of mangroves. Also, there is a follow-up session, as an illustration of what action should be performed next and what sort of activities involving young people in mangrove rehabilitation.
In conclusion, WWF-Indonesia’s noble goal in preserving the mangrove ecosystem also received the attention of the younger generation. Mangrove planting activities in the last two years and the next few months, provide opportunities for young people to be actively involved so that they can give birth to a generation of youth who love the environment, and are willing to sacrifice to restore the coastal ecosystem collectively. Furthermore, the significant impact of this environmentalist spirit can be even greater.