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Teluk Nibung, Ujung Sialit, Pulau Balai, and Suka Makmur


Conservation benefit: 1,924 acres of protected land and marine habitat for 10 years

Community benefit: Soccer fields, community meeting hall, and storm gutters for four villages

Date Approved: 01.2009


This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.


This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.


This project protects seagrass, which traps more CO2 than any other marine ecosystem, slowing global warming.

Pulau Banyak (“Many Islands”) is a cluster of about 40 islands, located 4.5 hours by boat off the west coast of North Sumatra in the Aceh region of Indonesia. The islands support a population of 7,000 people, who live in seven villages on only three of the islands. Four of these villages propose to create no-take areas in their respective jurisdictions. The areas will be regulated by village traditional law, or hukum adat kampong.

In return, Seacology will fund projects requested by each village. In Desa Teluk Nibung, Seacology will fund a soccer field, and the village will protect 1,008 acres of coral reef and 12 acres of forest for 10 years. The village of Pulai Balai will use a Seacology grant to rebuild a village youth meeting hall and will protect 217 acres of coral reef and five acres of adjoining land for 10 years. In Desa Suka Makmur, Seacology will fund concrete gutters; the village will protect 94 acres of forest, 106 acres of mangrove forest, and 114 acres of marine area. Finally, in Desa Ujung Sialit, Seacology will fund a soccer field, in exchange for protection of 326 acres of coral and seagrass, and 42 acres of mangrove forest.

Project Updates

May 2015

Field Representative Irman Meilandi reports that both soccer fields are finished and are used by village youth to host teams from neighboring villages and islands. The rain gutters at Desa Suka Makmur are also complete. The youth meeting hall in Desa Balai is 97% complete and is used for youth meetings, badminton, and wedding parties. Teluk Nibung youth and village leaders plant trees and try to monitor and protect the designated marine protected area. They report that outsiders violate the rules, but that they can’t be punished because the villages don’t have speedboats with which to deter or chase them. Youth and village government officials have created a monitoring group, Pokwasmas, which plants trees and has caught outsiders damaging coral.

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December 2011

According to project leader Mahmud Bangkaru, three of the four projects are yet to be completed. The Teluk Nibung project is finished, and the soccer field is being used regularly. Mahmud notes that the Teluk Nibung group has worked well and seems to be more efficient than the other village groups. There have been very limited disturbances to the protected area. According to locals, turtles (presumably Hawksbill) have been laying eggs on the western beaches with more frequency, but the eggs have been collected and consumed. Reinforcement of the Hukum Adat (regulations) regarding this will take place, and people will also be informed that hawksbill eggs can be poisonous. The field in Ujung Sialit needs one additional layer of soil and gutters around the field. The area is protected, but boats have been anchoring in the northern part of the reserve during bad weather; the boundaries of the protected area will likely be changed as a result. One hundred meters of rain gutters at Suka Makmur remain to be finished. The conservation area is safe, and the community members are following the Hukum Adat. The building at Pulau Balai is larger than originally planned, so funds from another source will go toward completing the project. The Pulau Balai conservation area is perhaps the most technically difficult to guard; there is some fishing activity going on, but it is limited, and the coral reef has started to grow back.

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June 2011

According to project leader Mahmud Bangkaru, the work on Suka Makmur’s rain gutters is 77 percent finished. It goes forward, but a bit slowly as the community has had problems getting in materials, as they depend on weather and the availability of boats. In Palau Balai the community hall is 87 percent finished. The village has decided, as earlier reported, to add their own money to the project to complete it. In Ujung Sialit, the work is estimated to be at 87 percent. The soccer field is still being improved by flattening it and adding soil. However, it is good enough to use. They have already used the field and have already played friendly games with other villages. The enthusiasm for the field is very high. In Teluk Nibung, the field is already finished and is in use. The community in Teluk Nibung has a strong feeling of togetherness. They take this project very seriously and they have initiated enlargement of the protected areas. The head of Dinas Keluatan and Perikanan (Department of Oceans and Fisheries) has been very happy with the Seacology program and extends his thanks. They have programs that will strengthen the areas and make them bigger. The fishermen of Teluk Nibung and Pulau Balai have already decided to enlarge their areas.

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January 2011

According to project leader Mahmud Bangkaru, the soccer field in Teluk Nibung is 90 percent complete, and will be ready by the end of November 2010. The soccer field at Ujung Sialit is about 70 percent complete; the project is somewhat behind due to heavy rains. Suka Makmur has purchased sand, stone, cement and equipment for their village rain gutters. Pulau Balai has purchased all materials, and work on the youth meeting hall has begun.

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June 2010

In both Ujung Sialit and Teluk Nibung, the land has been purchased and clearing has begun. The project leader reports that the communities are very eager to get started and the protected areas are well established through the presence of the community surveillance teams. As evidence that the surveillance is working, a ship from Sibolga using bombs for dynamite fishing was apprehended; the boat was escorted back to Sibolga and the crew was taken to court. Additionally, an attempt to cut trees on the northern shore of Tuangku was stopped, but unfortunately the perpetrators managed to escape. By their own initiative a group of fisherman from Pulau Balai and Teluk Nibung developed a new fishing method, called “Tuasan” (otherwise known as a fish aggregation device), which is now becoming popular and many fishermen have doubled their incomes; in this way the reefs and its fish are left alone and the fishermen catch more deep sea fish. At the same time they have become anti-poison, complain about plastic rubbish from big boats and are more interested in environmental problems. Fishermen in other villages are becoming interested and the fisheries department has now contributed a number of tuasans, with an additional 100 more tuasans being supplied by money from a Multi Donor Fund.

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October 2009

Our project contact reports that the land in Ujung Sialit has been purchased for less than anticipated. The situation in Teluk Nibung is the opposite; the land is now more expensive than expected. However, the community through the youth organization has agreed to work for free in order to stay within the allotted budget. All four villages have established, through the Fisheries Department, community watch groups called POKWASMAS (Kelompok Pengawasan Masyarakat). These groups are formed by the fishermen and will help look after the no-take zones.

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June 2009

As of February 2009, field representative Arnaz Mehta began working on coordinating completion of the pre-grant documentation and planning phases for the projects. As of April 2009 Arnaz reports that in June the fisheries authority is going to have meetings to set up local groups to help protect the corals. The pre-grant documentation will be completed at that time.

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