Figure 1. The Map of Indonesia
The unique experience of collaboration in developing a scientific article on marine conservation in Indonesia
Marine Protected Area (MPA) has been used worldwide as a tool to protect marine biodiversity and human welfare, including in my country, Indonesia. Indonesia is the largest archipelago country in the world, consisting of more than 17,000 islands (Figure 1). Approximately 74% of the area is covered with water, and only 26% is land. Marine conservation in Indonesia is managed under two ministries, which are the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF). This condition creates a challenge in measuring Indonesia’s marine conservation progress due to the protected areas under MoEF are excluded from the calculation of MPAs to achieve the national and international targets. To overcome this challenge, we (my colleagues and I) agreed to perform a scientific study on MPA progress in Indonesia, including MPA under MMAF and protected areas under MoEF. We also assessed the management effectiveness using the tools used by both ministries (the Evaluasi Efektivitas Pengelolaan Kawasan Konservasi dan Pulau-Pulau Kecil – EKKP3K by MMAF and the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool – METT by MoEF).
The article has brought me an additional amazing experience by presenting at the biggest coral reef symposium, the 15th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) (Figure 2). The ICRS was held on 3-8 July 2022 in Bremen, Germany. Through this article development and attending the ICRS, I have expanded my network in the coral reef conservation sector (Figure 3). It has also improved my coordination and collaboration skills through the process of putting together a scientific publication. These skills and a more extensive network are valuable for my future career in sustainable development, where collaboration is the key to success.
Figure 2. Presenting the study at the 15th ICRS 2022 in Bremen, Germany
Figure 3. Expanding and strengthening my network in the coral reef conservation sector in the 15th ICRS at Bremen, Germany
The article was based on the recently published report on the Management of Marine Protected Areas in Indonesia: Status and Challenges, in which I was involved while working at WWF-Indonesia. The idea behind this is to further share Indonesia’s progress in marine protection with a broader public and provide reliable information. In this study, I am the lead author and was responsible for coordinating the core team, developing the manuscript (including creating the outline, building up the draft, and selecting the relevant figures and tables), communicating with other co-authors, finalizing the manuscript, and coordinating with the journal’s editor. The article development involved co-authors from various stakeholders (government, academia, and NGOs) from inside and outside Indonesia. Finally, the article was published in the Marine Policy Journal on 24 September 2022 and served as my graduation present from the Master of Sustainable Development Program at KU Leuven. The article can be downloaded for free here until 13 November 2022.