Published on January 15, 2008
The Bunaken National Park joint patrol system: Lessons learned from a multistakeholder enforcement initiative: The Bunaken National Park joint patrol system: Lessons learned from a multistakeholder enforcement initiative Arief Toengkagie Chief, Bunaken National Park Management Office Bunaken National Marine Park: Bunaken National Marine Park Established 1991, overseen by BTNB (Park Office) ~90,000 hectares, including 5 islands and North Sulawesi mainland (S and N sections) exceptionally diverse 22 villages inside park, ~30,000 residents Slide4: BUNAKEN NATIONAL PARK, NORTH SULAWESI Background: Background Although Bunaken has been a national park since 1991, the condition of its marine ecosystems has slowly declined due to destructive practices such as blast and cyanide fishing, dive boat anchoring, and mangrove cutting Bunaken National Park rangers (BTNB) responsible for patrolling ~89,000 hectares, but were ineffective due to: Limited manpower and equipment Limited funding such that patrols were infrequent Bunaken’s transition to co-management: Bunaken’s transition to co-management 1999-2000 – Private tourism sector begins working directly with BTNB to stop reef degradation, beginning with strict ban on anchoring. May 2000 – Official MOU between dive operators, BTNB, water police to cooperate in enforcement: Funded by dive operators via a $5/diver voluntary “conservation fee” Using mechanism of targeted patrol operations in areas of park known to have problems Bunaken’s joint patrol system: Bunaken’s joint patrol system Beginning in March 2001, Bunaken’s official entrance fee system provides funding for comprehensive patrol system: Expansion of ranger/police system to include villagers directly in joint patrol teams Focus on: Destructive fishing practices (bombing, cyaniding) Capture of endangered wildlife (turtles, dugongs) Mangrove cutting Zonation system infractions Entrance fee enforcement Beach clean-ups Socialization of park’s rules Joint villager/ranger/police patrols: Two separate systems – Northern (island) section, Southern (mainland) section North: 21 villagers, 10 rangers, 3 water police Patrol post on Bunaken Island, 3 speedboats, VHF radio system South: 18 villagers, 6 rangers, 2 water police 3 rotating patrol posts, 1 speedboat, VHF radio 24 hours/day Villagers are trained in enforcement techniques, but do not have authority to make arrests or carry weapons Patrol system is aided by a park-wide (32 base station) VHF radio system with stations in each settlement in the park Joint villager/ranger/police patrols Special Undercover Operations: Special Undercover Operations Routine patrols are augmented by occasional special operations by rangers and police (villagers not involved due to danger) Target known problem areas/criminal teams (eg, blast-fishing operation, cyanide rings) Typically 5 day operations, cost ~$800/operation Results, 2001-2003: Results, 2001-2003 9 blast-fishing teams arrested and tried in court, with near elimination of blast fishing in Bunaken NP Live fish cages (for cyanide caught live grouper/Napoleon wrasse) destroyed throughout park, compressors confiscated and cyanide fishers arrested Mangrove trading ring largely broken, with thousands of wood bundles confiscated Results 2001-2003 (continued): Results 2001-2003 (continued) Zonation infractions (such as fishing in tourism zones) have decreased ~30 endangered animals have been released from capture (dugongs, green and hawksbill turtles) Entrance fee system well-enforced, capturing $109,000 in 2002 Much better coordination with Fisheries Dept – all commercial fishing licenses have exclusion for Bunaken NP Costs of Enforcement: Costs of Enforcement Total cost of Rp 673,000,000/year (~$76,500/year) Includes salaries/bonuses, fuel, maintenance, court costs, training Funded by entrance fee and small grant from WWF-Wallacea ~$0.85/hectare/year Currently 15% of total park budget. Previously up to 50%, though total costs have not dropped over 3 years. Lessons Learned: Lessons Learned Involvement of villagers in patrol system has associated costs and benefits, but benefits far outweigh the costs Costs Village patrol members require significant initial training Village patrol members have no authority to arrest or carry weapons Social jealousies can arise from villagers not involved in patrol system Benefits Villagers are on the scene 24 hours/day, have sense of ownership Village patrol members receive very important information on illegal activities from other villagers Village patrol members greatly increase the frequency and effectiveness of socialization of park’s rules to other villagers Lessons Learned: Multistakeholder (joint) patrol teams are much less likely to be involved in corruption or collusion – different team members keep each other honest Lessons Learned Lessons Learned: Lessons Learned Contrary to some expectations, local communities strongly support the joint patrol system and have called for its expansion! Local villagers actively assist patrol system through the VHF radio network (“reef watchers”) Lessons Learned: Lessons Learned It is extremely important to declare and treat marine resource crimes as serious offenses, and to apply enforcement evenly across all levels of society (including villagers, tourists, outside military/police/government officials, etc). Public support for patrols will rapidly decline if powerful individuals are given “special treatment” Lessons Learned: Lessons Learned Indonesian courts typically treat destructive fishing and other marine resource crimes as light offenses. Education of all levels of the enforcement/prosecution system is required to provide understanding that marine resource crimes rob future generations of their livelihoods and must be punished severly Lessons Learned: Lessons Learned Enforcement is a continuous, ongoing need – there will always be individuals ready to engage in illegal (and profitable) activities if enforcement activities are decreased below effective levels Slide19: THANK YOU!