This project supports community-based actions to protect dugongs, their habitats and local livelihoods in a sustainable manner and according to local conditions.

By building community capacity and expanding the scope of community patrols, the project will develop effective management and conservation plans by identifying dugong and seagrass priority zones along in Ketapang District, West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Project NameCommunity-led Conservation of Dugongs and Seagrass
Implementing AgencyInternational Animal Rescue Indonesia (IARI)
Project DurationNovember 2021 - March 2023
Project LocationSawi, Cempedak, Bawal and Gelam Islands, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
Total Implementation CostUSD 36,475
CMS Dugong MOU ContributionUSD 24,475
Project PartnersFisher communities of Cempedak and Bawal islands.

Yayasan WeBe Konservasi Ketapang

Agency for Natural Resources Conservation (BKSDA), West Kalimantan.

Coastal and Sea Resources Management Agency (BPSPL).

Pontianak Ketapang Navy Base.

The coastal waters in West Kalimantan Province are home to rich marine biodiversity, including dugongs. There are currently no reliable dugong population estimates for the area as a whole, however within the Cempedak and Bawal islands area, the population estimate ranges between 6 – 10 individuals.

Dugong populations are declining due to destructive fishing methods, gillnet entanglement and habitat degradation due to  pollution, particularly from coastal transportation of bauxite and oil palm crops. Although dugongs are protected by national legislation, there are no  local management plans and the lack of reliable dugong population and distribution data hampers action to protect this vulnerable species.

The project will carry out the following activities:

  • Mapping dugong and seagrass conservation hotspots by conducting: i) capacity training for local community members in participatory mapping methods and data collection, ii) rapid seagrass assessments using satellite imagery and ground-truthing, and iii) dugong surveys within seagrass areas through boat-based transect surveys and drone-based surveys.
  • Conducting community-led patrols around Cempedak, Bawal and Gelam islands to, i) deter illegal fishing vessels, ii) help avoid dugong entanglement in gillnets, and iii) increase local fishers’ awareness of dugong conservation.
  • Awareness raising to improve dugong conservation, particularly in the coastal areas and small islands of the Ketapang District.