Conservation Policy Gap Analysis: Indonesia

June 21, 2018

The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project asked two policy experts from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi to explain how to apply the DPSIR policy analysis model to our Project Parnters. With this information our partners are analyzing the policy gaps for dugong and seagrass conservation in their countries.

Here is one of those analysis done by:

Mr. Andi Rusandi,
Director of Directorate of Conservation and Marine Biodiversity
Directorate General of Marine Spatial Management
Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Indonesia

What are the policy gaps related to dugong and seagrass conservation in your country?

Dugong is a protected species according to law no 7/1999 but a national action plan on the management of the species has never existed. A national action plan is required because it is among crucial ingredients to effective conservation management. This gap needs immediate response as Dugong is among the 20 priority species for conservation program in 2015-2019. Another challenge is on how to protect the area where dugong exist from threats like boat strike, reclamation, fisheries activities etc. Hence we aim to incorporate dugong habitat (including the seagrass) in coastal planning/zoning policy but this work requires sufficient data and information.

What has been done to address those gaps? And what are the next steps to undertake until the end of the project and beyond?

DSCP has facilitated us to develop a conservation action plan to answer the gap. The national plan of action is now available and ready to implement but the effort is yet to accomplish it since we aim to strengthen the implementation of the document through a decree. The national action plan is effective for five years, which extends beyond the end of the Project.

In addition, DSCP has also helped us to better manage information about dugong and seagrass in a more integrated manner, so that scattered data and information can be compiled through a virtual platform that we have been working on: (still under development). The database will be updated biannually well after the project.

Recently, we have also collected (national) data from questionnaire survey that had never been undertaken before. Hundreds of local fishermen were involved as respondents in the survey. Such updated and consolidated information management is crucial for the development of provincial coastal planning/zoning, a policy that will ensure that dugong habitats are well protected from threats.

How can dugongs and seagrass get political attention and be effectively prioritized by decision-makers (equally and along with other marine mammals and habitats)?

We are confident that our top managers have already an adequate understanding about conservation issues, given in recent years they have put more attention towards conservation of protected species, including the dugongs. Being active in social media have made the top managers become more aware about dugong-related issues (i.e cases of stranding). In many cases, activists and stakeholders in generals are likely to be more convenient in making reports about dugong incidents directly to our top managers through social media accounts. This is an opportunity for us and is expected to play an important role in overall dugong conservation management in the country.