Bearing the status of a national park with an area of ± 1,320,987 hectares and abundant biodiversity, sustainable natural resource-making management in Wakatobi Regency a necessary. It requires synergy between all parties. Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), together with Jasa Raharja, supports the Wakatobi National Park Office and the Wakatobi Regency Government in the context of sustainable management of biological resources in Kulati Village, East Tomia District, Wakatobi Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, through various activities, namely integrated waste management, empowering women in the coastal area, and environmental education.
"This partnership with Jasa Raharja is a form of building synergy in supporting the sustainable management of vital resources in Wakatobi Regency. We believe that if a conservation area is managed properly, it will be able to provide many economic and ecological benefits for the local community," explained YKAN Director of Oceans Program Muhammad Ilman.
Kulati village is famous for its beautiful natural scenery. According to a survey by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Kulati Village has a coral reef health index of 10. It is declared one of the places with the best coral reef conditions in Indonesia. Healthy coral reef ecosystems support the productivity of the fisheries sector. Here are also found many historical sites. With all this potential, it is not wrong if the community and the Kulati Village Government have the vision to make Kulati Village an ecotourism village.
"We realize that the management of biological resources must be carried out sustainably so that the benefits can be felt for future generations. Jasa Raharja, through its Social and Environmental Responsibility Program (TJSL), is called to support efforts to manage biological resources in a sustainable manner in Kulati Village, East Tomia District, Wakatobi Regency. The hope is that the synergies that have been well developed so far will support the sustainability of Wakatobi District," explained the Head of the Operations and Public Relations Unit of Jasa Raharja Southeast Sulawesi Branch, Putu Agus Erick SW.
Like the problems often encountered in the archipelago, one of the biggest challenges in Kulati Village is waste management. Kulati village only has limited land to accommodate garbage and receives garbage from outside the area that is carried by sea currents and wind. Kulati Village, part of Tomia Island, needs to be independent in handling waste from the results of residents' domestic activities, ecotourism activities, and garbage carried by ocean currents.
To overcome this waste problem, YKAN, together with the Ecotourism Group of the Kulati Poassa Nuhada Village Community, with the support of Jasa Raharja, developed a series of integrated waste management activities such as waste sorting, recycling waste through composting, and implementing the pyrolysis process, waste clean programs, and environmental education.
The pyrolysis method is applied to process plastic waste into diesel fuel. There are three types of plastic waste that can be processed into diesel, namely High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) in the form of hard plastic waste, Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) in the form of plastic bags, and Polypropylene (PP) in the form of mineral water glass packaging plastic.
"This integrated waste management activity inspires us, and we will continue to do so in the future. We are currently preparing a special land for waste management. This integrated waste management activity also increases the awareness of the people of Kulati Village always to maintain a clean environment," explained the Head of Kulati Village, La Ode Burhanuddin.
Efforts to handle plastic waste in Kulati Village are also carried out through environmental education activities. The target of this activity is children and youth. Awareness activities from an early age aim to instill the value of love for the environment, which is expected to shape their mindset and attitude to support sustainable natural resource management. Through interactive activities and utilizing the environment as a learning resource, children in Kulati Village are invited to recognize existing environmental problems, such as waste, including efforts to handle them.
"The capacity of the pyrolysis machine is 4 kilograms of plastic waste; once production can produce 2.8 liters of diesel. In a day, we usually produce a maximum of 4 times. Although it is still in the pilot stage, we have used the diesel produced to fuel the boat engine," said Poassa group leader Nuhada, Nyong Tomia. Nyong added that not all plastic waste can be processed into diesel fuel, so it is then used to make ecobricks. Currently, diesel fuel from this pyrolysis will still be investigated further in the laboratory.
Women's empowerment and sustainability
The YKAN and Jasa Raharja partnership in Kulati Village was also carried out by accompanying the Padatimu To'asoki women's group. It is undeniable that one of the crucial actors in coastal management is women. Founded on July 3, 2021, the Padatimu To'asoki group was formed to improve the capabilities of its members, including those in the economic business sector.
They have developed a product in the form of Simba fish crackers (Caranx ignobilis). After going through a series of stages, starting from potential identification, institutional strengthening, production training, and recipe trials, the Simba fish crackers will be launched in October 2021. Although still relatively new, this group has gained many customers outside Tomia Island, even to Papua and Halmahera.
To support efforts to use marine resources wisely and sustainably, the Padatimu To'asoki Group made a conservation agreement. One of the essential points is that as a primary ingredient for crackers, Simba fish should only be caught with environmentally friendly and non-destructive tools. "As coastal women who depend on marine resources, we are aware of the importance of marine sustainability for the sustainability of our business. If the sea is healthy, fish will continue to exist," explained the head of the Padatimu Group, To'asoki Yulianti Rahman.
"We would like to thank YKAN and Jasa Raharja, who have supported the sustainable management of biological resources in Wakatobi Regency, which is in line with the vision of Wakatobi Regency, namely WAKATOBI TO BECOME A SAFE MARITIME CONSERVATION DISTRICT," concluded the Head of the Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Wakatobi Regency, Mulyanto.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.