Karang Lestari
Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia
Seven Questions

Winner Pata Gold Awards 2005  Environment

  1. What was the challenge/problem your organization faced?

Economic catastrophe befell Indonesia in 1998, and the currency collapsed. Pemuteran was targeted by migrations of desperate fishermen from neighboring islands using destructive bombs and cyanide, destroying almost all of Pemuteran’s reefs. The same year, El Nino caused coral bleaching and death. Due to these two incidents, the bank reefs became piles of rubble, barren of fish. Reef loss contributed to a decline in fisheries. Tourist numbers fell due to destruction of dive and snorkeling sites. Local fishermen recognized the industry could not recover until the coral reef habitat was restored. (91)

  1. What were the specific objectives of your campaign/project (to address these challenges/problems.

·         Supporting community-based conservation and protection for all marine resources through education and regeneration programs

·         Ensuring continual conservation through support from local communities, business owners, government, marine scientists and conservationists

·         Restoring coral reef habitats to former natural beauty and increasing fisheries for sustainable ecotourism development

·         Shifting fishermen’s destructive harvest methods to ecologically-friendly alternatives—converting fishermen from hunters to farmers

·         Combating environmental degradation through reef rehabilitation and resource management

·         Providing environmental education for tourists and the local population

·         Diversifying livelihood opportunities  (78)

  1. Why was this particular approach (for example, a PR campaign instead of advertising, or direct marketing, etc chosen.)

It was imperative that understanding of marine conservation was understood by villagers so the grass roots approach, working with local leaders, businesses and government was necessary.   Education was implemented by installing conservation messages into traditionally performed dramas.  Information, photos and films were presented to the village councils and youth organizations. The community learned by demonstration. (55)

4.  Please provide the details of how your campaign or project was implemented, ie. Target market, budget, timing and frequency of messages, the stakeholders involved and how the work was divided up. 

The goal was the communities protecting their marine resources. A compelling element is the interactive involvement of traditional community, government and private enterprise. Pemuteran Village Marine Protected Area is a “bottom-up” program established and enforced under village law. A key element was a local leaders’ ability to explain marine conservation and enhancing tourism contributing economically to the community that was compatible with local beliefs.  Everyone had a stake in restoring the marine environment and Bali’s traditional community consensus and sharing of labor was applied.  (83)

5. What results were achieved?

Protection and restoration efforts were quickly reinforced.  The use of technology using electricity to ‘grow’ limestone on steel frames increasing coral growth, resulted in coral and fish nurseries that re-established a devastated eco-system.  With the reefs’ return to health, local fishermen experience increased catches and Pemuteran became one of Bali’s main diving destinations.

The project is the world’s largest coral reef restoration project and is a success demonstrating  the importance of marine conservation, protection and ownership and is an exciting asset to the tourism environment.

With alternative income avenues available, former environmental destroyers became avid proponents of conservation and eco-tourism. The community quickly grasped the value of eco-tourism income, which had positive effects on lifestyle and health. (116)

  1. Which elements of the campaign/project helped the most towards its success?  On hindsight, what and how differently would you have done it. 

Marine Security stopped the destructive fishing practices destroying the marine eco-system the community depended on.  National and international awards, recognizing the community based restoration project was another.   It instilled a deeper understanding of coral reef importance and created an open atmosphere by all members of the community about environmental concerns giving a sense of pride that insures continued efforts. 

The process was organic. We do not know if it could have happened differently.   Leadership embraced new technology and the community moved forward in their traditional way in the understanding of conservation, restoration and protection that will now be handed down to future generations. (103)

  1. What, for your organization, were the key learning points for an effective marketing communications/PR campaign?

Working with the community at all stages and levels.   A project imposed from the top would not have worked.  Their process of learning and understanding their marine environment is critical for further understanding.  There are now efforts to improve the land based pollution, making the ornamental fish trade sustainable, and start a Masters of Marine Sciences Program for formulation of proper management policy to restore this area and provide a template for similar projects throughout Indonesia. By striving for best management policy, we hope to make this a center of excellence in marine and environmental studies for the rest of Indonesia. (100)

Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA)  works with bottom-up community-based management efforts to restore severely damaged coral reefs and fisheries. GCRA and Yayasan Karang Lestari (YKL) are the two dynamic and complementary NGO’s working on the internationally acclaimed project in Pemuteran.  It must be noted that all efforts have been voluntary without any funding.  The technology used is the fastest eco-system restoration method in the world.  Both GCRA and YKL are actively seeking funding and support to introduce these concepts in Aceh and anywhere in Indonesia or Asia there is a need.  Please contact:   www.globalcoral.org or goreau@bestweb.net