On September 5 – 6 2020, around 280 youth gathered in Tanroe, Baba Binanga Village, Duampanua District, Areca Regency. The gathering aims for the rehabilitation of the coast with planting 10,000 Rhizophora mangrove propagules, organized by WWF-Indonesia Aquaculture Program and in collaboration with about 26 youth communities who joined the Mangrove Brotherhood organization. WWF-Indonesia has planted mangroves as a form of support for the PT Bogatama Marinusa (Bomar) to obtain an ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certificate. One of the requirements of achieving the certification is to rehabilitate and to compensate 50% of the mangrove area which has been affected by conversion and land expansion before May 1999.
The activity went dynamic, the participants came using two-wheeled vehicles to Tanroe. Getting to the location takes at least 20 minutes from the main road of the Pinrang-Polewali Mandar, passing through the quayside until it reaches the Tanroe which is inhabited by a majority of transmigrant fishers from Pangkep Regency. Tanroe is considered one of the remote areas in Pinrang, whereas electricity is new to the fishing villages of August 2019.
At arrival, participants observed the previously planted mangroves on August 4th 2019 as many as 3,000 seeds, September 1st 2019 as many as 8,000 seeds, and December 23rd 2019 as many as 1300 seeds. The success rate of the mangroves that have been planted is around 80%. This is also the reason why Tanroe is a target conservation location for WWF-Indonesia.
After supper, the volunteers of the mangrove rehabilitation watched WWF-Indonesia mangrove conservation films as an educational agenda for the importance of mangroves and how to plant mangroves properly. The next day, September 6, 2020, at 09.00 WITA, the volunteers discussed about the role of youth in improving the coastal environment. Quite a few youth communities responded to the discussion. As described by Azwar, a volunteer from Pinrang Cultural Literacy Community, stated that “Pinrang youth should take a role in promoting development in remote areas. In Tanroe, several communities have been involved to help empower local communities. For example, the education of the children of Tanroe, which is somewhat lacking due to there being only one teacher at the moment, then continues by helping the community to connect with the local government anticipating the community to have electricity. Another response from the youth was that the mangroves that had been planted were maintained and their status was stated as conservation areas.”
Around 01.00 WITA, volunteers crossed the shallow river to the mangrove planting location. The 10,000 propagules were divided into 10 sacks, each of which was escorted by a planting team. One team consists of members who put stakes, dig and plant, and are coordinated by the chairperson to ensure planting is following the according procedures. The planting procedure at that time was to plant the mangrove propagules as deep as 1/3 of the propagule length, planting distance of each propagule was 30-50 cm, and installing stakes on the outer edges to prevent wood waste that could damage mangrove propagules. Planting only takes about 1 hour, after planting, pictures sessions were taken with volunteers or fellow community.
Before heading back home, the community who joined the Mangrove Brotherhood agreed to continue supporting the activities of WWF-Indonesia’s conservation in Pinrang and the surrounding area. Specifically for the Tanroe area, additional planting activities for damaged / dead propagules will be carried out, assisting in mangrove nursery activities carried out by the Tanroe community, and monitoring the hawksbill sea turtles which usually go ashore on the coast of Tanroe, Pinrang. The Community will also continue to support literacy / educational activities for Tanroe Elementary School students, and encourage the government to immediately build road infrastructure, to facilitate access to Tanroe.
The Future of the Mangrove Brotherhood
The mangrove planting activities in Tanroe have marked the rise of the Pinrang youth to support conservation agendas. Planting mangroves with the youth in order to unite the spirit and vision, so that in the future, the youth will remain cohesive for mutual assistance in conservation activities, either that be a mangrove planting, plastic waste management, conservation of sea turtles and corals, or forest conservation.
This Mangrove Brotherhood was not only initiated in Pinrang, but also in the Bone and Sinjai areas, as was initiated by the Mangrove Sejati Community, which brought together around 20 youth communities and stakeholders to village government and mangrove farmer groups in Sinjai. It is planned that the Mangrove Brotherhood will also be launched in the Maros area by involving youth communities who care about the environment. The hope is that in every coastal area, the Mangrove Brotherhood will grow together with the community, to give birth to a variety of generations, who are more caring, more progressive in defending environmental improvement agendas.