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Waigeo Island


Conservation benefit: Support of a 123,553-acre marine protected area

Community benefit: Solar power, toilets, a paved footpath, and other improvements for nine villages

Date Approved: 06.2007


This project promotes sustainable energy production, helping reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and slowing global warming.


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.

Mayalibit is a large bay that deeply notches the island of Waigeo in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. This nutrient-rich, mangrove-fringed bay has long been known as a feeding, breeding, and nursery ground for fishes. It is also home to a school of unidentified species of white dolphin. The area is an important cultural and spiritual area for the indigenous Mayan people.

Recently, the nine villages of Mayalibit declared their 123,553-acre bay a marine protected area. Commercial fishing, netting, shark-finning, and all means of destructive fishing are banned there for at least 10 years. In return, Seacology, with the assistance of Conservation International Indonesia, will support projects tailored to each community’s needs.

Six of the villages (Go, Kabilol, Kalitoko, Lopintol, Waifoy, and Warimak) have requested a paved footpath to allow the villagers better access to freshwater wells and their school. The tiny village of Araway needs solar power to light the village meeting place, as well as a radio so that residents can receive news. The village of Beo has also requested solar power. The largest village, Warsamdin, has no sanitary means of waste disposal and dumps sewage straight into the bay. The Seacology grant will pay tor twenty eco-friendly public washrooms.

Project Updates

January 2010

Arnaz reports that the footpath in Warimak is 100% complete; about 300 meters of concrete foot path has been laid down to span all the homes of the village.

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December 2009

Field representative Arnaz Mehta reports that the projects were completed in all nine villages with the majority of those villages experiencing no problems (Kalitoko, Go, Lopintol, Araway and Waifoy). Unfortunately, the public washrooms in Warsamdin and the footpath in Kabilol have been leveled due to a Raja Ampat regency government plan to construct a “ring road” around Mayalibit Bay. This plan was not anticipated by the local villages and there was nothing they could do to stop it. No update regarding Warimak was received and staff will continue to follow up on this village. The overall conservation progress in Mayalibit Bay has been outstanding over the past two years. All nine villages around the bay have formed conservation youth groups (370 people in total) that conduct informal patrols of their village reefs, beach clean-ups, and other conservation activities. There is also a formal community patrol system which does regular patrols around the entire 53,000ha MPA. Since the creation of these patrols several large net fishing operations as well as one massive mangrove crab trapping operation were ousted from the Bay. Additionally the communities have settled upon a zonation system for the MPA which includes approx 20% as “no take area” of the healthiest reef and mangrove areas in the bay. This zonation will be formalized as law as early as June 2010. In addition to implementing two new fisheries policies in the Bay, each of the nine villages have implemented sasi (traditional law temporal closures) for mangrove crabs and sea cucumbers to conserve this traditional resource by closing the fishing season for these animals for a period of 6 to 12 months and then re-opening it for a period of about two weeks before closing it again. Villagers support for MPA and sustainable fishing is very strong and widespread, and the Seacology projects overall have had an important part in building this support.

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January 2009

As of November 2008, the footpaths at Warimak and Kalitoko were being completed, and materials were purchased to begin the remaining projects at Beo, Go and Lopintol.

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May 2008

A Seacology delegation visited the site in September 2007. Between September 2007 and May 2008 the nine villages were in the process of developing village decrees for acceptable and sustainable fishing practices, and a list of prohibited practices within Mayalibit Bay. There is an active village patrol team in place guarding against prohibited activities. The solar units at Araway, the footpaths at Kabilol and Waifoy, and the eco-friendly washrooms at Warsamdin are all 100% installed and complete. The footpath at Warimak is about 85% completed, and the footpath at Kalitoko is about 20% completed. Plans for the rest of 2008 include completing the Warimak and Kalitoko projects, and beginning the remaining projects at Beo, Go and Lopintol.

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December 2007

As of November, washrooms were 85% complete and paths at four villages were in various stages of completion ranging from 30% complete to 100% complete. Solar lights at Araway were originally expected to only be available for installation at a public community area but the project leaders were able to purchase 12 lamps to distribute to all 12 houses in the village. 2008 work will complete the footpaths at Lopintol and Go Villages and solar power at Beo Village.

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October 2007

Village agreements and list of documentation needed to start the project were completed in early September. Plans for September through October include purchasing and shipping materials, constructing the footpath and public facilities at Waifoy and Wasmardin, the public facilities at Beo and Kabilol, and installing the solar power system at Araway. Later work will complete the footpaths at Lopintol, Go, Warimak and Kalitoko Villages.

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