The World Organization of the Scout Movement’s (WOSM) largest Scout Association, Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia (the Scout Association of Indonesia) has engaged in several projects and activities in recent months on the subject of environment and sustainability.
Coral reefs represent some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth, providing critical habitat to approximately 25 per cent of marine species. In addition, these ecosystems provide economic benefits through tourism and fisheries. However, human activities, including development in coastal areas, over fishing and pollution have contributed to a global loss of over 10 per cent of these valuable ecosystems. An additional 15 per cent have been lost due to warming of the ocean surface, and climate change will further contribute to coral reef degradation in decades to come.
In Indonesia's coral reef, fisheries are in crisis due to destructive over-harvesting by bombs and poisons. President Megawati Sukarno Putri said at the International Coral Reef Symposium in October 2000 in Bali that around 94 per cent of Indonesia's coral reefs were already severely damaged.
Pasir Putih, in Situbondo, East Java is one of them. In four coral reef locations, Teluk Pelita has 50.61 per cent living coral coverage and 20.17/m2 of reef-fish abundance. Karang Mayit has 32.92% living coral coverage and 22.79/m2 of reef-fish abundance. Batu Lawang has 27.59% living coral coverage and 10.58/m2 of reef-fish abundance. And Kembang Sambi has 22.49% living coral coverage and 7.01/m2 of reef-fish abundance.
Under the above mentioned circumstances, the East Java Scout Divers of Indonesian Scouts have accomplished the ‘Scouts Coral Restoration’ initiative, which included underwater conservation, clean up and building of artificial reef in Pasir Putih, Situbondo. The Messengers of Peace, a flagship initiative of WOSM funded by the World Scout Foundation, has supported this project. The activities have included training local scouts and local youth to dive, and coral reef conservation.
In February 2012, local scouts and local youth received diving training. By doing this activity, participants not only get open water diver certification from POSSI (the Indonesian Sub-aquatic Sports Association), but also increase their knowledge of the underwater environment. Therefore, they are ready to take action in conservation activities. The participants were very enthusiastic about the training and proud to be involved in the Messengers of Peace project.
In March 2012, a workshop was held on coral reef conservation. An expert from the Sepuluh November Institute of Technology from Surabaya provided material regarding coral reef planting and conservation. The participants, scouts and non-scouts, acquired more knowledge and skills about the underwater environment.
Besides the training and workshops, Scouts Coral Restoration also developed and produced 40 blocks of 100 artificial coral reefs.
As the young generations of the nation, let's love and take good care of the ocean to create peace and a better world.