Saubeba, Warmandi & Wau

February 2013

Conservation benefit: Support of 108 hectares (267 acres) of critical leatherback turtle nesting beach for three years

Community benefit: Full scholarships for seven students

Located on the northern coast of West Papua, Indonesia are three small villages: Saubeba, Warmandi, and Waru (population approximately 80) in the area known as Warmon. Villagers are mainly engaged in subsistence fishing and farming, but some are employed by local logging and mining companies located just south of Warmandi village. These villages are the traditional owners of a total length of 23 km (approximately 460 hectares or 1,137 acres) of critically endangered leatherback sea turtle nesting beach. Similarly endangered hawksbill, olive ridley, and green sea turtles also nest on these beaches. These beaches are officially part of the Abun Regional Marine Conservation Area (KKLD), which offers a small amount of protection but little active management.

From 2006 to 2010, a total of 22 students from the villages of Saubeba and Warmandi received some form of scholarship support from Seacology in exchange for protection of the Jamursba Medi turtle-nesting beach, which was successfully implemented over the five-year period. This program revealed that offering scholarships to bright young villagers to attend high school and college in the provincial capital of Manokwari or Sorong is very good way to secure village-wide participation in actively protecting the beaches from turtle egg predators and poachers.

A group of committed individuals who have been intimately involved in turtle research, conservation, and village outreach over the past few years propose to continue the scholarship program. It will extend to all three villages in both Jamursba Medi and Warmon beaches, and it will be in exchange for a three- to five-year conservation agreement. Five high school students and two college students will receive three years of full scholarships. An annual evaluation of each student’s report card, as well as village compliance with the turtle nest protection agreement, will determine whether the scholarships are renewed. The area to be protected is 108 hectares (267 acres).

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
May 2015
Field representative Iona Soulsby reports that students are being supported in Saubeba and Warmandi. Permission to begin work on the turtle nesting beach at Jamursba Medi was granted in April; the...
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