The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project marked another year of conservation success stories.
In 2017, we critically reviewed of our achievements and challenges and acted on many lessons learned to improve the way we address the drivers of dugongs and seagrasses loss.
Our 26 Partners across the eight project countries worked hard during this year.
Uniting our efforts, we reached more than 100 coastal communities, building capacities for seagrass and marine resource management, and protecting dugongs. At the same time, we learned and benefited from these communities’ traditional knowledge about the marine management.
We explored and piloted different solutions to diversify communities’ livelihoods and reduced pressure on the marine environment. Some of our solutions were just replacing fishing nets to prevent bycatch, while others involved development of small scale farming, homestays, batik and tailoring enterprises. We also provided coastal communities with better access to health and education. By doing all these we were able to reach fishers, their spouses and children and empower them as the stewards of dugongs and their seagrass habitats.
During the past year, we collected new and additional information about dugongs and seagrasses to narrow the knowledge gap in the eight countries where we work. In some countries we confirmed the presence of dugongs, while in others – we documented their significantly reduced numbers. The questions to all of us is “what to do from here on and how to secure these populations?” We are confident that the answer shall be found by working altogether – communities, conservation and research organizations, institutions and businesses.
The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project already connected and united conservation activists across eight countries. This has transformed the Project into a Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Partnership. This Partnership will be self-sustaining – even after the end of the Project in December 2018. But these efforts will require your support to continue growing. The conservation challenge is beyond the boundaries of just eight countries and the scale of a four-year project.
We would like to use this opportunity to call for your support of the dugong and seagrass conservation partnership – communities, institutions, businesses and citizens.
Join the partnership. Sharing your story. Give us your ideas about how to improve our efforts. Offer your expertise. Help communities and the Partners on the ground. Tell others about the importance of this conservation cause. All these activities will help!
We look forward to working with you toward developing the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Partnership.
With best regards,
The Project Coordination Team
on behalf of the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Partnership