The missing islands of Pulau Seribu (Indonesia)



Nama    : Rekno Asriani

Kelas   : 4EA15

NPM     : 11209137

Tulisan : Bahasa Inggris Bisnis 2#

The missing islands of Pulau Seribu (Indonesia)


One by one the real Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu) in Jakarta Bay are disappearing!

Pulau Seribu has the misfortune to lie immediately offshore from a conurbation of 20 million people and the combined effects of land-based pollution and sedimentation are wreaking havoc in the fragile reef ecosystem of Jakarta Bay.

In response to the problem in 1995, UNESCO, with scientists from P30-LIPI and ITI, conducted a review of what has been happening to the Bay’s coral reefs. The review repeated a similar survey which had been conducted 10 years earlier, allowing scientists from the three organisations to see how much the islands and reefs had been transformed during that period of rapid economic and industrial growth in Jakarta.

The results of the second survey indicated that the condition of the coral reefs in Pulau Seribu is continuing to decline, to the point that some islands have totally disappeared (see Fig. 1). Part of the problem of coral reef degradation is beyond our direct control, in that global warming and the El Nino effect have led to changed rainfall and runoff patterns and longer “dry-seasons” in Indonesia.

Another part of the problem, however, is not beyond our control. Many of the causes of erosion and reef degradation are related directly to human behaviour. These are the so-called ‘anthropogenic perturbations’ that affect the structure and health of the coral reef ‘community’. They include archaic waste disposal systems and unsustainable resource management practices which lead to:

  • deposition of rubbish and sedimentation on the reefs,
  • physical destruction of reefs by fish bombing, cyanide fishing, coral mining, and dredging, and
  • decreasing water quality through industrial pollution and nutrient enrichment.

The worsening condition of coral reefs thus goes hand in hand with the unsustainable utilisation of resources by local fishermen and specimen collectors, and by the developers of private resorts, as well as the improper or inadequate disposal of waste by industry and local government authorities.

The spiraling economic cost of reef degradation suggests that the improved management of coral reefs may be in Indonesia’s best economic interest in the long term.

Protection of coral reefs is often presumed to conflict with economic development. However an economic study by the World Bank on the economic value of Indonesian Coral Reefs (1996) clearly indicates that the unsustainable exploitation and management of coral reef leads directly to considerable economic losses in the longer term. The divergence between short-term profits to private individuals, and long-term costs to society can reach a ratio of 50:1 (The World Bank, 1996). [H. Cesar 1996. The Economic Value of Indonesian Coral Reefs. World Bank Environmental Economics Series.]

Table 1 illustrates this conflict between private profit and public loss by showing the estimated benefits to individuals against the losses to society for each square kilometer of coral reef left unprotected. Blast fishing, for example is estimated by the World Bank to yield a net benefit to individual fishermen of US$ 15,000 per km2 of reef. This compares with net losses to society of US$ 86,000 per km2 of reef (from sustainably managed fisheries), US$ 9,000 – 193,000 (in coastal protection), and US$ 3,000 – 482,000 (from tourism).

(present value; 10% discount rate; 25 y. time-span; in US$ ,000; per km2)


Net Benfits 
to Individuals

Net Losses 
to Society


Total Net 





Total Net Losses 


Poison Fishing







Blast Fishing







Coral Mining


























Ranges indicate: sites of ‘low and high’ value in terms of tourism potential and coastal protection value.
n.q.: not quantifiable
1/: ‘Others’ includes loss of food security and biodiversity values (not quantifiable)
2/: Forest damage due to collection of wood for lime processing is estimated at US$ 67,000.

Table. 1 Total net benefits and losses associated with the destruction of Coral Reefs. From The World Bank Environmental Economics Series (1996).

Under its mandate to protect the coral reefs in the South East Asian region, UNESCO provides a point of convergence for local people, governments, scientists and NGOs in their efforts to save Pulau Seribu. With its specialist expertise in coastal management, and its focus on public education and awareness, UNESCO has been able to help local communities and NGOs to find and implement their own solutions through better communication and cooperation.

In cooperation with the Indonesian Institute of Science (P3O – LIPI), UNESCO recently organized a “Workshop for the Young Generations of Fishermen and Teachers” on Pari Island which brought together fishermen, collectors, NGOs, teachers and students.

Participants learned that, in order to counteract their loss of earnings from declining fish stocks, some inshore fishers have turned from traditional fishing methods to destructive, non-sustainable methods using dynamite (blast fishing) and cyanide to catch live fish for the restaurant and ornamental fish trade.

It is thought that most of these fishermen are employed or financed by wealthy businessmen. They are also employing the most destructive and non-sustainable of fishing techniques, in areas where local authorities apparently have neither the resources nor the power to stop them.

The UNESCO-LIPI workshop provided a forum for fishermen, NGOs and local people to exchange problems and perspectives and to work towards common objectives, and a shared vision for the effective and sustainable management of the resources of Pulau Seribu.

Suggestions to come out of the workshop included:

  • controlling open access to fishing grounds to protect and strengthen traditional management systems
  • improving employment opportunities in alternative activities
  • introducing sustainable mariculture (fishfarming) and seaweed farming
  • strict control and development of the aquarium fish trade through breeding programs and the introduction of non-destructive methods of capture.

By training local people in the sustainable use, management and protection of coral reefs, and by providing advice on alternative sources of income for fishermen, and on the use of non-destructive fishing techniques, UNESCO and its partners aim to change the face of coral reef management in Pulau Seribu.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s