Led by Bali Tourism legend, Agung Prana who owns Taman Sari Resort at North Bali's Pemuteran Beach, the Karang Lestari Pemuteran Project is gaining increasingly international recognition as a model of community-based coral reef restoration and conservation.
The object of much positive media coverage, including the Associated Press and the BBC, the Karang Lestari Pemuteran Project also recently won much-deserved further recognition with awards for Conservation Excellence from ASEAN Travel Association (ASEANTA) and a Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award in the environmental category.
The Project has successfully constructed a "win-win" scenario in which local fishermen are increasing their catches while the reefs surrounding the Pemuteran area are becoming one of Indonesia's main diving destinations. The villagers in the region have been quick to grasp the value of their eco-tourism incomes, the long-term benefits to the local environment, and the improved living standards of their families. Led and inspired by local community leaders, daily marine patrols with Pecalang Laut, or local marine guards, have largely eliminated detrimental bombing and cyanide poisoning methods for harvesting reef and aquarium fish.
Over a five year period from 199-2004, a stretch of barren coral reef has been transformed in a living reef system full of dense underwater populations of diverse marine organisms. The reefs have been brought back to life using "Biorock" artificial reef frames that stimulate rapid reef growth 3 to 5 times faster than normal and increase coral survival by a factor of 16 to 50 times.
A Community Effort
The Karang Lestari Pemturean Project has local hotels, dive shops, village fisher folk, scientists and conservationists all working together under the sponsorship and guidance of Taman Sari Resort. With coral regeneration and fishing bans now in effect in the Bay, spinner dolphins have returned in significant numbers. As a result, local villagers now take visitors on dolphin-watching tours. Under the terms of a cooperative agreement, the local village retains rights to all snorkeling income from tourists. These lucrative income alternatives for the traditional fishing community reinforce a basic understanding that each fish has more value in the sea than in a net or on the end of a fishing line. And, with alternative income avenues available, former environmental destroyers have become avid proponents of conservation and eco-tourism, for economic and environmental benefit.
Yayasan Karang Lestari Pemuteran
Yayasan Karang Lestari Pemuteran is a local non-government-organization founded by the owner of Taman Sari Resort in Pemuteran Bali, Mr. Agung Prana. Prana, who also owns a local travel company, is a traditional Balinese leader widely respected for his many contributions to Bali tourism. He is the past-chairman of the Bali Chapter of Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) and the recipient of many national and international awards.
The Yayasan works together with the Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA) a non-profit organization based in Cambridge Massachusetts, USA, that pioneers modern coral reef restoration methods, conservation and sustainable management.
These two NGO's are dynamic and complementary. The award-winning community-based coral restoration project in Pemuteran Bali is becoming one of the world's major educational and experimental facilities to further coral reef regeneration, coastal protection and socialization of sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems for conservation and tourism development.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is the Karang Lestari Project's Founder - Agung Prana.
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