Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mapping the Sea - Improving Livelihoods

In 2005, when the Tsunami hit Banda Aceh in Indonesia, it killed many of the elderly fishermen. Much of the traditional knowledge about the waters surrounding Banda Aceh was lost with them. Traditionally this precious knowledge was transferred from generation to generation. In the post-Tsunami vacuum, this community-led initiative was able to retrieve and document some of that endangered knowledge.

This video documents the efforts done in one community, where traditional authorities coordinated the mapping of the coastal waters including the sea floor. So far 460 km of coastline have been mapped including previously unmapped features like four seamounts, four geologic faults and eighteen coral areas. In addition to the physical data, the community documented key biodiversity areas including shark nurseries, nesting beaches, spawning grounds. Data will be used to support the development of coastal resources and fisheries management plans.

According to Sumatra Konservasi Alam this project was completed at minimal cost (less than 10% of the cost of a conventional survey) and in less than one year. More information on the initiative is found at

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