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Marine Station EcoNusa: Promoting Marine Conservation and Sustainable Development in Banda Neira

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Banda Neira

Banda Neira, a small island located in the Maluku, Indonesia has become a focal point for marine conservation and sustainable development efforts. Two major initiatives, developed by the EcoNusa Foundation and local partners, have become crucial milestones in preserving marine biodiversity and improving the well-being of the local community.

Marine Station EcoNusa, located in Banda Neira, has become a center for research, education, and the local economy. Built through the collaboration between the EcoNusa Foundation, Banda Neira University (UBN), and the Banda Neira Mandiri Cooperative, the Marine Station launched a collaborative project for simple Floating Net Cages on April 22, 2024. This project aims not only to support the local economy through the sustainable use of natural resources but also to provide a learning platform for UBN students, especially in the Faculty of Fisheries. This marks a significant initial step in aligning conservation efforts with local economic development.

“We hope that the launch of these floating net cages will not only be an option to utilize the natural resources in Banda Neira through small-scale economies but also serve as a field class for UBN students to learn and practice directly. This Marine Station is also open to various student activities, from research to learning classes,” said Bustar Maitar, CEO of the EcoNusa Foundation,” said Bustar Maitar, CEO of the EcoNusa Foundation.

EcoNusa CEO, Bustar Maitar (left), together with Vice-Rector II of Universitas Banda Neira, Munira S.Pi., M.Si (center), Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at UBN, Jenny Abidin S.Pi., M.Si, and representative of Koperasi Banda Mandiri, Dirman Sampulawa, while releasing fish into the simple Floating Net Cage (KJA) at Marine Station EcoNusa, Banda Neira, on Monday (April 22, 2022).

Additionally, conservation efforts are being advanced through a partnership between EcoNusa and Ocean Eye. Ocean Eye is a platform that allows tourists and other users to report sightings of marine animals and their environmental activities while at sea.

This collaboration aims to support sustainable tourism through technology. EcoNusa has long been committed to protecting biodiversity and the environment in Eastern Indonesia, and this partnership offers tourists the opportunity to directly contribute to marine conservation.

The collaboration began with a Workshop for Community Management of Sustainable Marine Biodiversity, held in Banda Neira on April 23, 2024. Through the Ocean Eye platform, tourists can report marine animal sightings and environmental activities, as well as participate in donations that will be distributed to support empowerment programs and biodiversity conservation.

Workshop participants pose for a group photo during the Community Capacity Building Workshop on Sustainable Marine Biodiversity Management, held at Oka Makatita Building, Banda Neira, on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Ocean Eye Indonesia Program Officer, Aramita Livia Ardis, said, “Banda Neira was our first choice for this program because of its rich biodiversity that deserves protection. We aim for this program’s success to benefit both the environment and the community in Banda Neira.”

The collaboration between EcoNusa, Ocean Eye, and other local partners marks an important step in raising public awareness about the importance of marine conservation and coastal ecosystems. Through these joint efforts, it is hoped that Banda Neira will become an example for other regions in preserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable development in Eastern Indonesia.

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