Buleleng Regency, Bali, has been chosen as a location for coral reef restoration and the Indonesian Coral Reef Park (ICRG). This is an initiative by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) and the Bali Provincial Government.
“The Indonesian Coral Reef Park is included in the National Economic Recovery (PEN) labor program for the public who are directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those related to marine tourism, ranging from tour guides, kiosk owners, hotels and their employees who experienced layoffs,” said Safri Burhanuddin, Deputy for Maritime Resources Coordination at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.
When visiting coral reef restoration locations in the Buleleng Regency and meeting with Buleleng Regent Putu Agus Suradnyana, he explained that Buleleng Regency was chosen because it had received many awards in the field of coral reef conservation.
“Buleleng also has the longest coastline in Bali and calm ocean currents, so it has an advantage in coral reef restoration,” he said.
Buleleng was selected along with four other areas in the province of Bali, namely Sanur Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Pandawa Beach, and Serangan Beach.
“Buleleng is well known for its coral reef conservation, so it is easier to implement this program in Buleleng. It is hoped that it will develop further; there will be more coral reefs here, and of course the designated conservation areas must be monitored. Let us not perform conservation activities, only to have them damaged by the community,” he said.
To create a different method of coral reef conservation, Safri Burhanuddin stated that a unique coral reef would be developed.
“I’ve had discussions with the Regent of Buleleng; maybe we will build a coral reef in the shape of a vehicle, or former military equipment that is no longer used, so that this becomes an icon,” he said.
According to Safri Burhanuddin, this program will start on October 17, 2020 and will involve thousands of people affected by the pandemic.
“The five locations will involve 1,300-1,500 people with total funds of around Rp. 111 billion and Rp. 10-20 billion for Buleleng,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Regent of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradnyana, said that this program provides opportunities to work for people on the coast and also those affected by the pandemic. In addition, he said this program would have a positive impact on the coral reef ecosystem in Buleleng.
“We are also thinking about fishermen whose daily activities are looking for fish on the reef, because later this activity will no longer be permitted. Therefore we have asked the ministry to make fishing platforms for fishermen,” he said.
Pemuteran Bay in Buleleng Regency is one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Bali.
Here, divers can enjoy the view of Napoleon Reef, a dive spot with a garden of soft and beautiful branching corals as well as Close Encounters – decorated with colorful nudibranchs.
Every year, Buleleng also hosts the Buleleng Bali Dive Festival. This diving festival was last held in September 2019. Unfortunately this year’s event had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.