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Kuri Caddi Village


Conservation benefit: Protection of 86 acres of mangroves for 15 years

Community benefit: Community center for mangrove ecotourism, environmental education, and sustainable livelihood training

Date Approved: 06.2021


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

When the price of shrimp shot up in the 1980s, huge areas of mangrove forests in Indonesia were ripped out and turned into fish and shrimp ponds, largely owned by outside investors. Mangrove coverage in South Sulawesi plummeted from more than half a million acres to an estimated 57,000 acres. Most of the shrimp farms—which become unproductive after four or five years, on average—have been abandoned. Left behand are denuded coastal landscapes, polluted water, and severely disturbed patterns of water flow and drainage.

The coastal village of Kuri Caddi is still dealing with these consequences. About 95% of the villagers make a living harvesting crabs and fish in the mangroves, giving them a strong incentive to protect and restore these ecosystems. They know that, as an Indonesian adage puts it, “Many leaves on the mangrove trees means many fish in the sea.”

The community (about 100 households) is protecting 25 acres of rehabilitated ponds and 62 acres of mangroves owned by the village. Many species of resident and migratory birds are found there, including a colorful kingfisher that lives only on Sulawesi and a few small islands nearby. Monitor lizards and mangrove vipers are common, and dugongs have been spotted.

Our nonprofit partner is the Sulawesi-based Blue Forests Foundation, which works with indigenous communities to restore degraded mangrove forests and develop sustainable livelihoods. With a group of villagers who call themselves the Kuri Caddi Mangrove Guard, they have been restoring natural water flows to encourage regrowth and produce a resilient, biodiverse ecosystem.

With a grant, the village is building a community center, which will house interpretive materials for the 300 tourists who visit the beach each month. Blue Forests will also conduct training there on products that can be developed from mangroves without damaging the trees, such as green tea from mangrove leaves, jam, and syrup. Every alternative livelihood reduces pressure on the mangrove forests and the ocean, helping to ensure a healthy future for the island.

Project Updates

February 2023

Despite a damaged road to the village, unpredictable weather, and the need for community members to work outside the village, the village completed this project.  The new community center, built from long-lasting preserved bamboo, was inaugurated at a ceremony in January. Three women-owned businesses, based on sustainable use of fish and mangroves, have been started.

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June 2022

Supply-chain issues delayed the arrival of durable bamboo from Yogyakarta, so villagers are preserving bamboo on site to use for the community center. Middle school students have gotten environmental education, both in the classroom and outdoors, with games and activities. Our project partners are also holding livelihood trainings with women every Saturday. They have covered producing healthy products from the mangrove forest, including herbal drinks from mangrove leaves and crab crackers. Youths who make a modest living collecting crabs are also learning the skills they need to guide visitors. We’re told that this education has made them much more concerned about reducing trash on the beaches—and that they have “started to build their dreams” about working as tourist guides.

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February 2022

The community center is being planned, though construction can’t start during the rainy season. Other upcoming activities include mangrove forest field trips with youth leaders. Seacology’s support of ecotourism has already prompted the government to build gazebos for tourists; the district government will also build a road to make access easier.

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