Marine conservation challenges in remote island: Anambas

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ANAMBAS, INDONESIA - On May 2018, UNDP BIOFIN (Biodiversity Finance Initiative) alongside Fiscal Policy Agency Ministry of Finance conducted a preliminary survey to assess the potential of Anambas Islands from sustainable development perspective. As part of the survey, UNDP with LPEM UI held a focus group discussion attended by Regency Government of Anambas Islands, Department of Tourism and Department of Fisheries, BAZNAS (National Zakat Agency) and Biorock Indonesia. LPEM UI also interviewed local fishermen, hotel owners and Napoleon fish cultivation business owner.

Anambas Islands is a newly established regency part of Riau Islands Province in Indonesia, located in the South China Sea, at the border of Indonesia with Singapore and Vietnam. Anambas Islands is preparing to be the hub of Napoleon and Kerapu fish cultivation mainly for exports commodities. However, some of the local and newcomer fishermen still practice destructive fishing which pose a direct threat to marine conservation.

Over 70-80% ocean bed in Anambas Islands are covered in 339 different species of healthy coral reefs, which made Anambas Islands a potential for sustainable tourism industry. Funds generated from the tourism industry can be alternative source of finance to marine conservation. The development of sustainable tourism industry in Anambas Islands will benefit locals to open local businesses and generates income other than only relying on fishing. However, accessibility to Anambas Islands is still very limited. Both air and sea transport can be cancelled due to harsh weather and ocean condition. The local government is planning to open a bigger commercial airport to make Anambas more accessible for international and domestic tourist.

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