Alternative Livelihood Creation to Preserve Dugong Habitats in Central Kalimantan (ID4)

Indonesia: Teluk Bogam, Central Kalimantan.


The objective of ID4 is to assist in establishing alternative livelihoods for coastal communities adjacent to dugong hotspot areas, with a view to reducing the threats to seagrass habitats in Teluk Bogam, Central Kalimantan.

The strategy involves encouraging local people to pursue contract farming of spirulina microalgae, with EnerGaia providing the appropriate technology, technical assistance and market access in cooperation with its local partner, WWF Indonesia.
The project is part of a broader initiative bringing together local communities, non-governmental organisations and governments to help people achieve better health, incomes and environmental outcomes, and to initiate alternative livelihood development in coastal fishing communities by piloting market-based solutions for marine conservation.

The Central Kalimantan region of Indonesia faces a variety of environmental challenges, including lack of alternatives to fisheries as a source of income and protein for local communities, leading to unsustainable exploitation of the marine habitats dugongs depend on. As well as providing an income source, the initiative aims to encourage the integration of excess spirulina into local diets to improve nutrition intake. This will also serve to relieve the pressure on local natural resources – particularly marine resources which form the mainstay of local diets.

Spirulina is a high-energy, high-nutrition food source that is used as a diet supplement or eaten fresh as a rich source of protein. The majority of the spirulina produced in Indonesia by project participants will be for export to Australia, where it is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in healthy, sustainable food products.

The initial target is to train a group of 50 individuals before working with at least 30 of these trainees to establish farms with 30 spirulina tanks yielding a total monthly income of more than US $100 per farmer.

After training and establishing a network of producers, EnerGaia aims to negotiate with local governmental institutions to introduce spirulina food products into local schools and universities. Once a strong supply is secured, EnerGaia believes that there is potential for local marketing of food products using spirulina, such as highly nutritious and convenient packaged snacks, as well as using spirulina as a source of phycocyanin extract to be added to water, juices and smoothies for its associated health benefits, especially for the Australian market.

EnerGaia will share laboratory facilities with Antakusuma University, and will establish a local spirulina tank farm and processing facility, and the project ultimately seeks to expand the rural farming network to Kubu, Sungai Bakau and Keraya.


1. Empower entrepreneur famers in Teluk Bogam to cultivate spirulina for export to Australia by initially establishing 30 operating farms.
2. Develop partnerships to explore the possibility of creating a local market for spirulina in Indonesia.
3. Expand training to create a second cohort of 50 farmers.
4. Expand the spirulina farming network to Kubu, Sungai Bakau and Keraya.