Joint Petition: “To Preserve Ocean with Local Wisdom, No To Foreign Debt/Foreign Aid”

Joint Petition: “To Preserve Ocean with Local Wisdom, No To Foreign Debt/Foreign Aid”


The management of sustainable marine resource have been applied since the 16th century by the indigenous peoples, scattered along in coastal areas and small islands in Indonesia. The People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) notes among them are: Sasi in Maluku, Bapongka in Central Sulawesi, Awig-awig in Bali and West Nusa Tenggara, and Ola Nua in East Nusa Tenggara. The management model is practiced independently (without ordered by outsiders) by active participation of all members of society. They do not even require debt funding.

Traditional fishing communities aware that sustainable fishery resources is a prerequisite realization of a prosperous and fair life. Moreover, they found that the magnitude of marine resources for the benefit of life. This is in contrast to marine conservation that the government arbitrarily assign, solely to obtain foreign loans and a positive image at the international level.

Center of Data and Information of KIARA (June 2013) noted that the conservation project conducted in Indonesian sea have gained foreign fund, including:

  1. In the period 2004-2011, Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program (COREMAP II) reached more than 1.3 trillion IDR, most of which comes from foreign loans of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB);
  2. The U.S. Government through USAID agencies provide grant aid to Indonesia worth USD23 million. In the plan, grants are awarded in the four-year period consisting of the conservation area worth USD 6 million and strengthening fisheries industrialization worth USD 17 million.

In practice, for example, coral reef conservation program fails/isn’t effective and leakage of funds based on BPK (Supreme Audit Agency) Report in 2013. Has proved a failure, KKP (Marine Affair and Fishery Ministry) instead want to continue the project COREMAP III for period of 2014-2019 by adding new conservation debt in amount of USD 80 million from the World Bank and ADB. In line with that, the establishment of marine protected areas also trigger horizontal conflicts.

Currently there are schemes of expansion of marine conservation practices covering 20 million hectares in 2020 which are carried out using foreign debt and put aside the active participation of fisherfolk and indigenous peoples, as well as burying local wisdom which has been run by generations in Indonesia.

In relation to that, KIARA invites Indonesian citizens to urge President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to:

  1. Promotes and ensures the management of marine resources based on local wisdom that has been practiced by indigenous peoples and traditional fishing in the coastal areas and small islands in Indonesia;
  2. Evaluating marine conservation projects that are proved burdening state national finance, failed, and castrating the rights of indigenous peoples and fisherfolk; and
  3. Stop the financing schemes of marine conservation based on foreign debt.

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