Youngsters in Ternate Fighting against Sea Debris

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Youngsters are cleaning along the beach in Ternate. (EcoNusa Foundation/Sumardi Ariansyah)

Ternate has long story about their struggles to combat Portuguese colonials from the era of Sultan Khairun up through to Sultan Baabullah. Ternate has remarkable affluence of natural resources. The spices are so prominent that it was well known across European continent. The sea encircling Ternate has given special fascination of beauty. The beauty is more appealing with the existing Gamalama Mount amidst Tidore Island.

Regrettably, the expanse of blue ocean of Ternate has been tainted by the floating sea debris. The debris has seemingly stained the beauty of Ternate sea. The floating debris upsets every sight. Fortunately, there are young people of Ternate who have ambitious initiative for an action to clean up their sea.

Marimoi Ngone Futuru which means “In Unity We Are Strong” has been set as the motto of Ternate. It is not simply an adage. The proverb has evidently showed the unity and cohesiveness of young Ternate people to safeguard and clean up their ocean from plastic debris. It was partly showed by the commitments of University of Khairun Ternate’s students who pledged to battle against plastic waste.

In commemoration of the World Clean-up Day 2020 on 19 September 2020, the students of University of Khairun Ternate in collaboration with EcoNusa Foundation initiated a so-called Coastal Clean-up. The activity was carried out at three spots, Kastela Beach, Nukila Park and Tobololo Beach.

UNKHAIR students were cleaning beach from debris. (EcoNusa Foundation/Sumardi Ariansyah) 

The activity could eventually collect around 2,467 kilograms or 2.4 tons of waste from the three spots within less than two hours. The cleaned-up spots stretched along more or less 1.5 kilometers coastal areas. Nukila Park was not only cleaned up on its coastal areas but also underwater. 

“The total of collected waste from three spots was 2,467 kilograms. The waste was dominated by drink bottles, mineral water glasses, straw, tire rubber and pampers,” said M. Janib Achmad, the Dean of Khairun University’s School of Fisheries and Maritime, to EcoNusa team.

Debris from under the sea was lifting into the beach. (EcoNusa Foundation/Sumardi Ariansyah)

To clean up the beach and sea, 190 youngsters of Ternate were assisted by Jeep Ternate Community, Dodoku Dive Center, and Ternate’s Forestry and Environment Office. They built synergy to combat pollution from sea debris. 

Despite the pandemic, the coastal clean-up was carried out under rigid compliance with the health protocol. All participants always wore masks and made physical distancing during the activity. Safety and security factors of coastal clean-up activity are the top priority during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The coastal clean-up on 19-20 September 2020 was deemed the concrete action of Ternate youths following the Sail to Campus online event held by EcoNusa Foundation at the Khairun University on 25 August 2020. The commitment of Khairun Ternate University to reduce the single use plastics to create a healthy and sustainable ocean was declared on the event. This is the form of the Ternate youth commitment to fight against plastic waste.

Editors: Leo Wahyudi S & V.Arnila Wulandani

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