With around 17,000 islands, Indonesia has much to offer in terms of the “island paradise” many travellers look for. Many of those are along the country’s border. These protected spaces are among the most luxurious coast spots in this archipelagic nation.
According to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, approximately 13,466 small islands in Indonesia have been named and 92 islands are located along the border.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, has been campaigning for and running initiatives to promote sustainability, especially against the growing threats to marine biodiversity. The recently held “Our Ocean Conference” drew attention to protected areas and also addressed issues of climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, a sustainable blue economy and marine security.
Under the Joko Widodo administration, the government aims to extend the National Marine Conservation Area (KPPN) to 20 million hectares by 2020. Alongside the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and a Sub-Directorate of Small and Outer Islands, the conservation programme covers the whole marine area in the eastern and western regions.
The National Marine Conservation Area is located in 10 different maps such as Aquatic Park of Pieh Islands, Anambas Aquatic Tourism Park, Kapoposang Islands Watersports Park, Savu Sea Marine National Park, Banda Sea Watersports Park, Nature Reserve of the Aru Islands, Natural Reserve of Raja Ampat Islands, Natural Reserve of Waigeo Islands, and Aquatic Tourism Park of Padaido Islands.
The government also promotes those small islands as tourist destinations that also carry out conservation missions. People are invited to join the sustainable initiatives while enjoying the islands’ many features.
In 2016, the Ministry ran a volunteer programme Aksi Tepian Negeri to explore the outer islands in Indonesia such as Enggano, Subi Kecil, Sebatik, Maratua, Lingayan, Marore, Kakorotan, Bepondi, Panambulai, Liran, Alor, Masela, Selaru, Larat, Kolepom, and Pajenekang island.
Through the collaboration with the private sectors through the hospitality industry, some of the nautical resorts on the outer islands, such as Anambas Islands, offer the tourists a conservation package where the guest could participate ecological mission such as coral planting, reef checking, Germplasm protection, and ocean clean up day.
Here are the few islands that facilitate conservation programmes:
Natuna, Kepulauan Riau
Natuna Islands have an abundant and diversified marine and fishery resources. There are 272 small islands which are remotely located near sea trade routes. Natuna Marine Protected Area attraction includes the beach area with beautiful scenery in the coastal areas of Sepempang (Bunguran Timur) to Tanjung Village in Bunguran Timur Laut. While there are also several diving sites, considering that coral covers 70 per cent of the area, the government also plans to build the first ecopark on the island.
Bawah, Anambas Islands
At the border near Singapore, Anambas Islands in the Province of Kepulauan Riau is a pristine tropical paradise in the southern part of the South China Sea. Among the many islands in Anambas archipelago, Bawah stands out as a popular diving destination as well as an exclusive luxurious getaway that offers a serene environment where tourists can participate in zero waste and reforestation programmes.
Waigeo and Padaido, Papua
The Padaido islands are located in the Pacific Ocean on the eastern of Biak island. The seabed with white sand adds to the allure of these islands at the end of Indonesia. According to a study conducted by the Biodiversity Conservation Network (BCN), Padaido Islands is among the world’s largest coral ecosystems. The reefs in the archipelago hold 95 coral species and 155 species of fish and other marine life.
Maratua, East Kalimantan
Maratua Island is one of the outermost islands in Indonesia which is close to Malaysia and the Philippines, in the Berau region, East Kalimantan. The land stretches across two sides and in the middle there is another smaller island. Maratua Island offers the pleasures of soaking in the, diving, and snorkeling, all with stunning views.
Sawu Island, East Nusa Tenggara
Sawu or Savu is the largest of a group of three islands, situated midway between Sumba and Rote, west of Timor, in East Nusa Tenggara. Due to its unique oceanographic features, including deep trenches, strong currents, and areas of upwelling, the Savu Sea is an important habitat and migratory corridor for cetaceans and turtles, a key nursery area for fish, and a refuge for coral reefs. A number of resorts in Sawu are certified as eco-resorts which run conservation programmes to preserve their biodiversity.
This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine November 2018 issue“Travel Issue”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.