30 January 2017 - Belitung is a small archipelago situated on the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It comprises one main island and several small islands, and is part of Bangka Belitung Islands Province. Due to its rich deposits of tin, Belitung experienced the development of a massive tin mining business that started in the colonial period around the 1850s. The expansion of mining activities on the island led to rapid environmental degradation, eventually damaging 80% of the mangrove forest in Selat Nasik Coast, and producing negative impacts on the livelihoods of the local fisher folks.
The Belitung Coastal Community Group (BCCG) was established in 1998 with the mission to combat the environmental threats caused by mining activities and to implement sustainable coastal ecosystem management. In particular, BCCG aims to rehabilitate, protect and manage marine and coastal resources, while also reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of the communities on Belitung Island.
Since 2008, the UNDP implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) in Indonesia has worked closely with the Belitung Coastal Community Group – BCCG (Kelompok Pemuda Lingkungan Belitung – or KPLB in Bahasa Indonesia), to implement an innovative island conservation model in Tanjung Binga, Belitung Island and Kepayang Island.
At the outset, the project aimed at creating a model for the sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems that would enable the rehabilitation and protection of key natural resources while also reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of the community in Belitung Island. To achieve this objective, BCCG organized activities to raise awareness in the community about the threats faced by coral reef ecosystems, started a coral reef transplantation programme to improve the quality and variety of coral reef, and conducted participatory education and training in order to implement effective and sustainable coral reef management. BCCG also created a network to support the work of fishers and other key stakeholders engaged in conservation activities. To improve livelihoods and reduce the pressure on the ecosystems, the group also initiated sustainable ornamental fishery and ecotourism activities. This project improved the coral ecosystem, engaged the community in conservation activities and increased the income and quality of life of the local population.
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