Community-based marine ecotourism: Indonesia Sea Conservation’s alternate“Earth provides enough to satisfy every mans needs, but not every mans greed.”Mahatma GandhiBeing surrounded by Pacific oceans and Indian Oceans, Indonesia’s marine is has 5.6million km2 in its wide with 81.000 km of coastal line.1 It has a lot of potential, especiallyin its seas fishery and coral reefsUnfortunately, Indonesia seas are in danger. Just like another third world country, seasconservation seems not becoming government’s priority yet. Even though Indonesiaalready has several law that regulate sea conservation but the implementation are far fromthe expectation.In status quo, at least 340.000 ton of tailing is being thrown by 2 biggest foreigncompanies and contaminates the seas in Papua and West Nusa Tenggara per day. Notonly that. Indonesia’s marine also contaminated by 80 million liters of ship’s lubricatingoil per year.2Civilians also take part in sea ecosystem destruction. In fisheries sector, many oftraditional fishermen doing illegal fishing by using bomb, poison (nickel, tin, pesticide,mercury) and other dangerous sea tools. In waste issue, since the end of the World WarII, it’s approximated that 80% of plastic wastes are accumulated in sea as solid waste thatimbalance the sea ecosystem.(Indonesia Marine Institute,2011)Why Sea conservation awareness is lacking in Indonesia?Economy is still becoming the main reason of the indifference. Government still believesthat seas conservation is much less lucrative that industry sector, that’s why they letfactories throw its waste to the seas carelessly.
Besides that, most of the local people in the coastal area are living in the poverty line.Because it still hard for them to fulfill the basic need, the awareness of sea importancebecoming their least priorities.To solve this problem, we have to find a way so that economy and environment couldwalk hand in hand in creating a sustainable environment. Marine ecotourism can be oneof the best solutionsCommunity-based marine ecotourismThe Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “a responsible travel to natural areaswhich conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people”(Western,1993)From economy perspective, Marine ecotourism is a lucrative market. According to UNreport, 80% of the global tourism happens within a 60 km radius of coastal areas andemploying more than 10% of the global work force.In order to give the local community the sense of seas belonging, marine ecotourismshould be made based on community, so it can give direct economic benefit towards localpeople.Community-based marine ecotourism should implicate those concepts3:1. Society should create a team to manage ecotourism activities in their territories2. Local ownership of ecotourism facilities principle should be implemented as much as possible3. Tourist Guide should come from local people, to embrace community involvement value4. All of the process of establishment, management, conservation and cost finding should becoming society’s responsibility
In Indonesia, ecotourism activities have been starting since 1993. Despite of its potential,actually the development of Indonesia’s ecotourism is still lacking compared to anothercountry. Tourism sector still only supporting 5% of Indonesia’s GDP 4, compared withanother topic country like Brazil (7.8%) 5 and Costa Rica (67%).6 That shows fact thatecotourism’s current system is not enough to empower local people.Indonesia still needs to develop its ecotourism potential to be as lucrative as possible, sothat people in coastal area can realize the importance of the seas conservationIn order to attract tourists from any countries, Indonesia should improve their coastalarea’s facility and accesbility7. Government should empower local people to improvetheir business. For example, government can give business loan for local businessman incoastal area, this loan can help their business to develop and attract more tourists.Government also needs to implement a unique marketing strategy in international level.A potential market is the USA, where 43 million people are ready for ecotours(Sudarto,1999)In 1993 US$950 billion was earned from tourism in the Pacific-Asia region alone and10% of that came from ecotourism activities. Since Indonesia is so rich in biodiversityand culture it is safe to assume that this country could get 10% of this amount. If thiswere to happen Indonesia would get US$950 million from the ecotourism sub-sectorThat should be enough incentive for government to prioritize the sea conservation lawand for the local people to realize the philosophy of sustainable development
Reference1. www.dkp.go.id2. http://cintailautindonesia.blogspot.com/2009/07/laut-dapat-menyerap-karbon-dioksida- co2.html3. WWF Indonesia, (2009), Prinsip dan Kriteria Ekowisata Berbasis Masyarakat4. Minister of Culture and Tourism: Statistics 2006,5. Research released by David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) at Fórum Panrotas,6. http://www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/cs/7. Amanda, Meita,(2009), Analisis Dampak Ekonomi Wisata Bahari Terhadap Pendapatan Masyarakat Lokal Studi Kasus Pantai Bandulu Kabupaten Serang Provinsi Banten8. http://www.apo-toyko.org/gp/e_publi/gplinkeco/12chapter10.pdf