WWF-Indonesia aquaculture program with 150 volunteers who are members of Mangrove Brotherhood Sinjai-Bone carried out social services to care for the environment in the form of beach cleanup on the coast of East Marannu Sinjai Beach and planting 10,000 mangrove propagules on the coast of the tourist area of Tongke-Tongke Village, East Sinjai District, Sinjai Regency. The local government is very supportive of this social service activity, but the activity should obey and comply with health protocols considering the presence of COVID-19 pandemic.
Activities began on Saturday afternoon, mangrove volunteers conducted registration and installation of tents in Marannu beach, afterwards, volunteers watched an educational mangrove film followed by a community discussion. The next day on Sunday morning, volunteers carried out a beach cleanup action and by noon, participants shifted and moved to the Tongke-Tongke ecotourism area, East Sinjai, to plant 10,000 mangrove propagules.
Mud puddles at the mangroves planting site were two to three feet deep. It took about 1 hour to complete the planting of 10,000 mangrove seeds of the Rhizophora mucronata species. In this activity, community leaders were also involved, Mr. H.Tayeb has been a mangrove pioneer in Tongke-Tongke Village since 1985. Mr. H.Tayeb has gone through many ups and downs while planting and maintaining the mangroves ecosystem in Tongke-Tongke mangrove forest.
“Before there were mangroves, this village was often flooded. From there I thought about what I needed to do to prevent flooding. Then I found mangroves. The local community was initially unconcerned until finally the mangrove began to grow immensely and provided many benefits. I used to plant 2000 mangroves by myself, it took 4 hours to finish. After planting it, I take care of it in such a way, If some dies I will plant it again, ” said Mr. H.Tayeb, an environmental figure who received the Kalpataru prize.
The purpose of carrying out this activity is to strengthen friendship and revive the enthusiasm of young people to remain at the forefront of saving Indonesia’s coast. The planting activity is also an agenda for WWF-Indonesia Aquaculture Improvement Program (AIP) with Celebes Seaweed Group (CSG) District Bone towards the Aquaculture Stewardship Council-Marine Stewardship Council (ASC-MSC) Seaweed standard. AIP CSG in Bone has been started since 2015, which until 2018 was still in the form of BMP (Better Management Practice) assistance in Gracilaria Seaweed Cultivation, and since 2019 CSG started the implementation of AIP ASC-MSC Seaweed. Previously, a BEIA (Biodiversity Environmental Impact Assessment) and pSIA (Participatory Social Impact Assessment) survey had been conducted, preparation of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure) cultivation of Gracilaria CSG Bone farm partners, data collection on cultivation production, and assistance in the form of focus group discussions with gracilaria cultivators.
Some of the gracilaria farms traced by the BEIA team indicated that the history of these farms was once a mangrove area. With those results, the companies should cooperate with the local community and also the government to restore or to convert mangrove ecosystems. The planting activity conducted today is the first step of AIP ASC-MSC Seaweed CSG for mangrove rehabilitation, by converting 1 hectare of land into mangroves ecosystem.