Marine protected area learning site for the Coral Triangle

Marie Fischborn
Publicado: 25 Agosto 2015
Última edición: 06 Febrero 2023
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The high ecological importance of the three islands of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia located in the heart of the Coral Triangle Center is used for developing a MPA learning site. It addresses the lack of formalization of natural resource management and inadequate protection of marine biodiversity with main institutional strategies to foster platforms for on-the-ground learning and sharing of knowledge and skills about tropical marine conservation.


Sudeste Asiático
Scale of implementation
Arrecifes coralinos
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Pradera marina
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas
Other theme
education and awareness, management planning, science and research
Cambios en el contexto socio-cultural


Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia
Mostrar en “Planeta protegido”


unlicensed fishing, sewage and pollution, coral mining and climate change effects Nusa Penida has 45,000 inhabitants that depend on marine resources, including fish and seaweed. About 200,000 tourists per year visit the islands. The solution addresses unlicensed fishing, sewage and pollution, coral mining and climate change effects including rise of seawater temperature, seawater level rise, and shift of fishing season that threaten biodiversity, ecosystem and livelihood.


local fishermen, fisheries industry, seaweed farmers, marine tour operators, and tourists

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

All six building blocks are part of a bottom-up step-by-step approach to achieve the solution. Baseline data collection (building block 1) is the required input for a successful consultative development of zoning the MPA and its management plan with all stakeholders (Building block 2). As a result, the collaborative management process can start that commits and brings together all stakeholders concerned (Building block 4). Options for sustainable financing mechanism (Building block 3) and ecological restoration (Building block 5) are laid out during the consultative development of zoning and management plan (Building block 2) and furthered through the collaborative management of all stakeholders (Building block 4). The process and the success of the collaborative management of the MPA, the use of its ecosystem services and marine ecotourism to generate funds and revenues for the community are shared to support other sites (Building block 6). The establishment of a marine protected area learning site for the Coral Triangle is made possible through continuous governmental, private sector and NGO (CTC) support from the beginning.


Coral reef condition and fish populations remain stable based on annual reef health monitoring surveys.


Charismatic and flagship species such as Mola mola and Manta ray are fully protected, and dive tourism from Bali to Nusa Penida is sustainable.


Marine eco-tourism is successfully developed, including mangrove tours, with mangroves being one of the conservation targets of the MPA. Indeed, the MPA has prompted the green image of Nusa Penida’s marine tourism. In 2016, 256.000 visited Nusa Penida MPA. In the same year, the site won for the second time a National AWARD, as one of the MPAs in Indonesia with the highest management effectiveness levels.  Nusa Penida MPA progressed towards the blue (75%) management effectiveness level based on the National Evaluation tool (E-KKP3K) by Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. This is the 2nd highest out of 5 levels.


Data suggests that fishing in the MPA for Nusa Penida and external fishermen is sustainable and fish stocks are maintained.


When people on Nusa Penida started seaweed farming in 1984, they would uproot mangroves to create their farms. The cutting of mangrove trees was more or less part of a daily routine. Ten years later residents realized that the ocean came ever closer and didn’t stop at their backyards anymore. The reason seemed obvious: the deforestation of the mangroves. People began to look at the mangroves as not only a source of wood, but as a means of coastal protection. At the same time, more and more tourists visited the island and quite a few seemed to be interested in seeing the mangrove forest. Thus, the locals started to organize mangrove tours. Another ten years further down the road, The Nature Conservancy initiated marine education training on the island, including mangrove replanting and the development of a mangrove seed bank. CTC continued these activities and developed the MPA together with local authorities and communities, allowing the islanders to expand tourism. Local communities were connected with professional tour operators and targeted promotion brought in more visitors on a regular basis. Today, about 35 to 50 people per day sign up for the mangrove tour. This kills two birds with one stone, but fortunately not two fish with one worm: visitors learn about marine biodiversity and the importance of coastal protection while local communities generate additional income and leave destructive practices behind. The outstanding effort of Nusa Penida has been recognized. The island received the national award from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry as good example for the most efficient managed MPA. CTC executive director Rili Djohani states “Nusa Penida has become a jewel in Indonesia’s marine protected area system, as one of the most thoroughly planned and zoned MPAs in the Coral Triangle through bottom-up collaborative management that contributed to people’s livelihoods and economies while protecting the world’s biological wealth for future generations.”

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Marthen Welly Coral Triangle Center

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Coral Triangle Center