The History of Indonesian Marine Protected Area (MPA) Development

The history of Indonesian conservation activities has started for a long time, even before Indonesia was occupied by the Dutch. The Indonesian people from generation to generation has wisely utilized the natural resources in the surrounding area. There are many evidence in the society regarding the sustainable utilization of natural resources, such as the existence of Sea Commander (panglima laot) in Aceh, river protected area (lubuk larangan) in Sumatra, Kelong in Batam, mane'e in North Sulawesi, sasi in Maluku and Papua, awig-awig di Lombok. Subsequently, the description of conservation program evolution in Indonesia has largely been adapted from Mulyana and Dermawan (2004).

During Dutch occupation, the history of conservation began in 1714 when Chastelein donated 6 ha of land of Banten region to make it a nature reserve. Thereafter, Cibodas was officially declared by the Director of Bogor Botanical Garden as the first nature reserve in 1889 for the purpose to preserve the forest as well as its associated flora and fauna.


In the year 1913, under the leadership of Dr. S.H. Koorders, The Netherland Indies Society for the Protection of Nature proposed 12 conservation areas, namely Krakatau island, Papandayan Mountain, Ujung Kulon, Gunung Bromo, Nusa Barung, Alas Purwo, Ijen crater together with its plateau and some situs in Banten area. In terms of marine conservation, in 1920 the State Gazette No. 396 was issued with the purpose to protect fisheries resources and ban fishing using toxic materials, anesthetics, and explosive materiala. Subsequent to that, the state gazette No. 167 of 1941 regarding the administration of nature reserve and wildlife reserve was issued.
From the time up to the Japanese occupation, and twenty years after independence, Indonesia still inherited the conservation measures taken by the Netherland Indies government. Some significant development in this area are among others the ease in conducting marine research, marine research through Baruna and Cenderawasih operations, and Wawasan Nusantara concept by Juanda Declaration of 13 December 1957 which is reinforced by Law UU No. 4 of 1960.
In 1971 a Directorate of Nature Conservation and Wildlife Management was established under the Ministry of Agriculture as an indication of how serious the government towards nature consideravation activities. In 1973 Indonesia also ratified CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora dan Fauna) and it was confirmed by the Presidential Decree No. 43 of 1978.
During the period of 1974 - 1983, the Indonesian government obtained an assistance from FAO to manage National Park Development Program. Within the time span, the government had inaugurated 10 new National Parks. In addition, the Ministry of Forestry and State Ministry for Supervision of Development and Environment, now it is known as the State Ministry for Environment.
The significant measure taken by the Directorate General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHPA), Ministry of Health in 1984, was to release a National MPA System containing framework for various activities of marine protection, the basis for its selection and determination as well as prioritized areas for the development of MPA.
The important values of marine resources in national development have begun to be included in the State Policy Guidelines (GBHN) 1998. In the document it is explained that the coastal zones, the ocean, watershed and the air must be managed with due regard to the environment reserve and its natural resources. Marine area management in specific should be enhanced in order to be effective and sustainable.
Conservation of biological natural resources has been lawfully supported with the ratification of Law No. 5 of 1990 that governs all aspects of protection, preservation and utilization of biological natural resources and ecosystem. According to this regulation, conservation is administered by protection of life supporting, preservation of diversed fauna and flora and its ecosystem, and sustainable utilization of biological natural resources and its ecosystem. This law has also shifted the paradigm of conservation that merely focuses on area reservation to conservation of ecosystem, species and genetics.
The marine protected area development has been developing continuously as time goes by. Up to the year 1997 Indonesia already has more than 2,6 million marine areas included in the 24 conservation areas, six of which made into national parks namely, Kepulauan Seribu, Karimunjawa, Teluk Cenderawasih, Bunaken, Wakatobi, and Takabonerate.
Coastal and oceanic resources have obtained greater attention with the establishment of the Department of Sea Exploration and Fishery in 1999, which subsequently changed to Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and last the name was changed to Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KemenKP). In handling the activities for coastal and marine conservation, the ministry established the Directorate for Conservation and Marine National Park (KTNL) which subsequently changed into the Directorate for Conservation and Fish species (Dit. KKJI). Initially, Dit. KKJI developed the concepts of conservation and facilitated the efforts of conservation in the region by developing Regional MPA (KKLD). At present there have been many initiatives of the regional government to develop KKLD to enhance conservation area towards sustainable fisheries resources management.
Further, the harmonization and alignment of area and fisheries species conservation between the Ministry of Forestry and KemenKP in part has produced good result. On the 4th March 2009, a Handover Report of Wildlife Reserve Area and Nature Conservation Area from the Ministry of Forestry to KemenKP Number: BA.01/Menhut-IV/2009 - BA.108/MEN.KP/III/2009 (Suraji et al., 2010) has been signed. This action has immediately been followed up with the issuance of Decree of Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries No. Kep.63/MEN/2009 to No. Kep.70/MEN/2009 regarding the stipulation and naming of 8 KSA/KPA according to the new nomenclature pursuant to the Government Regulation No. 60/2007. Names of 8 (eight) KSA/KPA handed over were Marine Water Reserve (SAP) of Aru Tenggara Islands ; SAP of = Raja Ampat Islands; SAP of Western Waigeo Islands; Marine Nature Tourism Park (TWP) of Kapoposang Islands; TWP of Pulau Gili Ayer, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan; TWP of Padaido Islands; TWP of Banda Sea; and TWP of Pieh Island.
In supporting an integrated and sustainable coastal and marine resources management in general and MPA management in particular, the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries established Technical Implementing Units in several regions. In March 2008, Centre for National MPA (BKKPN) Kupang and Centre for the Coastal and Marine Resources Management (BPSPL) Padang were established. Subsequently in November 2008 it is followed by the establishment of Loka for Coastal and Marine Resources Management (LPSPL) Sorong, BPSPL of Denpasar, BPSPL of Makassar, and BPSPL of Pontianak. In January 2009 Loka for the National MPA (LKKPN) Pekanbaru was established and a year later LPSPL of Serang was established . The main duties of BKKPN/LKKPN are to implement management, utilization and supervision of national marine area for conservation of fisheries resources and its environment in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations, while the main duties of BPSPL/LPSPL are  to implement management that includes among other things, protection, conservation, and a sustainable utilization of coastal and marine and small islands resources pursuant to the applicable laws and regulations.
In the month of May 2009, Indonesia was the host of a big event namely World Ocean Conference (WOC). In this event, marine experts presented the various researches and management of costal and marine natural resources. Additionally, this event also served as a forum for discussion, communication and sharing of experience among the world marine experts. In such an event, the Minister and the Governor of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) declared the reservation of Sawu Sea as the Marine National Park (TNP). Sawu Sea TNP covers an area of 3,5 million ha and administratively exists in 14 regencies/cities within the Province of NTT. As a follow up of this reservation, the government received an assistance from German Government and CTSP in preparing a scientific study on the resources potential, socialisation and community empowerment, institutional preparatoin and the management and zoning plan preparation.
Simultaneously with WOC 2009, Indonesia also emphasizes on its commitment to develop MPA to 20 million Ha in 2020. The commitment was supported by the neighbouring countries within Coral Triangle region such as Malaysia, Philippines, Solomon, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste, and a comitment of funding support from the United States of America and Australia. The commitment was also followed up by various activities that could support the development and management of MPA, one of which is the preparation for National Plan of Action (NPoA) and Regional Plan of Action (RPoA). NPoA is a national planning prepared based on RPoA incuding the objectives and targets to be achieved. There are five goals in RPoA, namely :

Goal 1 : Priority Seascapes designated and effectively managed
Goal 2 : Ecosystem Approach to Management of Fisheries (EAFM) and other marine resources fully applied
Goal 3 : Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) established and effectively managed
Goal 4 :Climate Change adaptation measures achieved
Goal 5 : Threatened species status improving

In the next stages of development, there will be many laws and regulations or its derivates that could be made a reference in developing and managing marine protected area, among others are:

  • Law No. 5 of 1990 regarding Biological Natural Resources and its Ecosystem.
  • Law No. 31 of 2004 as amended by Law No. 45 of 2009 regarding Fisheries.
  • Law No.27 of 2007 regarding Management of Coastal Zones and Small Islands,
  • Law No. 32 of 2004 as amended by Law No. 12 of 2008 regarding Regional Government,
  • Law No. 32 of 2009 regarding Protectoin and Management of Environment
  • Government Regulation No. 60 of 2007 regarding Fisheries Resources Conservation,
  • Ministerial Regulation KP No. Per.17/Men/2008 regarding Protected Area in the Coastal Zones and Small Islands.
  • Ministerial Regulation KP No. Per.02/Men/2009 regarding Procedure for Stipulation of Marine Protected Area
  • Ministerial Regulation KP No. Per.03/Men/2010 regarding Procedure on the Stipulation of of Fish Species Protection
  • Ministerial Regulation KP No. Per.04/Men/2010 regarding Utilization of Fish Species and Genetics,
  • Ministerial Regulation KP No. Per.30/Men/2010 regarding Management and Zoning Plans of Marine Protected Area.


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