Raja Ampat is one of the last wilderness places on earth. Help us keep it that way.
The SEA People (locally named ‘Orang Laut Papua’), is a field based non-profit foundation working to contribute to the protection of one of the last locations on Earth where coral reef systems still thrive. Taking a holistic approach to marine conservation, we work with local communities, who depend on healthy coral reefs for both food and livelihoods, and aim to provide mutually beneficial solutions to ecosystems based management. By combining science and technology with traditional skills and management techniques, we focus largely on capacity building; strengthening the ability of local community members to obtain the skills, knowledge and understanding required for improved management, protection and enhancement of local marine resources.
Raja Ampat is a remote Indonesian archipelago off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua, this sparsely populated archipelago of 1411 islands over 4.6million hectares, shelters an incredible abundance of life, and forms what is currently thought to be the most biodiverse marine system on the planet. At the heart of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat is home to 75% of the worlds known hard coral species, 1600+ species of fish, 6 out of 7 species of sea turtle, 18 species of marine mammal and 699 known species of mollusc.
These stunning reefs provide a rich and sustainable food source to the local communities scattered throughout the archipelago, and in some areas, also support a healthy tourism economy providing livelihoods to a significant portion of the community. Yet, these long-sustained ecosystems are now under pressure from emerging and existing threats associated with rapid and unsustainable development at a local level, and climate change on a global scale.
The Reefs are at Risk. We’re on a mission to change that. Here’s how.
Although one of the last strongholds for coral reefs in the world, in the face of human induced climate change, rapid and unsustainable development, overuse and exploitation, the reefs of Raja Ampat face a harsh reality; the clock is ticking on their continued state of health, and in some instances, their existence. The future of local communities relies heavily upon a continued state of reef health, and given the region’s global value and influence from an ecological and economical perspective, without question Raja Ampat’s ecosystems rank as a global priority for marine conservation and protection. The SEA People aims to address local issues by taking a multi-faceted and collaborative approach to ecosystems based management. Here’s how…
Our projects are designed to be sustainable in the long term, so that their impact and benefits extend far into the future. We begin with the end in mind, and from the outset know exactly who could and should benefit from the projects, and how. We define exactly what sustainability means in terms of quality and measurable outputs, and in terms of risk. We design projects that enhance natural resources, as opposed to exploit them, and in doing so ensure that our projects are non-harming, and the resources needed are themselves sustainable. We source funding from multiple sources, to ensure financial sustainability and project longevity. And most importantly, we build the projects with and around local communities, empowering them to be the facilitators of their own projects in order to better ensure their longevity.
Our projects focus on strengthening the ability of local community members in Raja Ampat to obtain the skills, knowledge and understanding required for better management, protection and enhancement of local marine resources. We combine cultural heritage, local skills and knowledge with science, field training and modern conservation principles to develop projects that serve platforms for:
- measurable ecological output
- skills based training (diving, reef restoration, reef health monitoring, operational management and planning)
- ecological & environmental awareness
- providing alternative livelihoods
- inspiring local empowerment and behavioural change
- facilitating more sustainable resource management, a more profitable Blue Economy, and ultimately greater environmental and financial security
Healthy Reefs, Healthy Livelihoods; Collaboration is Key.
Raja Ampat’s reefs serve as a valuable resource and asset that supports local and international economies, regional stability, and scientific understanding. At present, a variety of stakeholders – including local communities, local and federal government, the tourism industry and operators – each benefit greatly from the current state of health of the region’s reefs. Yet these stakeholders, who are at times at odds with eachother in terms of understanding and objectives, can only continue to succeed through a collaborative approach and common vision to keep Raja Ampats reef’s healthy and abundant.
The future of local communities and stakeholders depends upon the continued health of the reefs, and the continued health of the reefs depends upon the decisions of these organisations. The SEA People strives to create mutually beneficial projects and collaborations that serve all stakeholders, and in doing so, protect the most marine biodiverse location on earth. .
We are The SEA People. Science, Education & Awareness.
Want to Help? You Can.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has – Margaret Mead
It is only with the support of our donors, big and small, that our work can continue. From basic project running costs, to restoring large hectares of reef or removing COTS, it’s our financial and material donors that keep us active in the field. Make a Donation
As a field based non profit, much of our time is divided between implementing projects in the field, and fundraising. However, being based in a remote location this can be extremely challenging, as there’s only so far limited internet can take us in terms of connecting with the outside world! Therefore, we aim to collaborate with inspired SEA People from around the world, who are willing to offer their support by campaigning and fundraising on our behalf. Click Here to start your own fundraising campaign in 2 easy steps!
Knowledge and Skills:
We are a small team of passionate and committed individuals, but we can’t do it all. We need skills based collaborators willing to offer their support in a variety of ways from afar. Check our Wishlist to see if there is something you can do to help us!
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