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News | 12 January 2012
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Victory for Sea Turtles:

Internal Affairs Ministry Instructing the Governors to Protect Sea Turtles in Indonesia



ProFauna has been working for the protection of sea turtles in Indonesia through active campaign, education, investigation, rescue, and law enforcement. In encouraging the government to enforce the law, ProFauna holds series of lobbies to the related government bodies and agencies involving its partners, supporters, and volunteers from local and international public. The recent achievement was the issue of the Circular Letter of the Internal Affairs Ministry instructing all governors in Indonesia to protect sea turtles in theirs areas.

The letter is a manifestation of the ministry's response to ProFauna's lobby held last year after the organisation launched its investigation report about the illegal trade of sea turtle eggs in Kalimantan. Launched on 15th December 2010, the report uncovered the facts that the sea turtle eggs were rampantly sold on coastal areas of the vast Island in Indonesia. It was estimated that 100,000 eggs were traded there and some even smuggled to the neighboring country, Malaysia.

Following the investigation, ProFauna has been actively encouraging the related government to take actions against the sea turtle egg trade. The organisation invited its local and international partners, supporters, and volunteers, to send letter to the government urging them to curb the trade. Accordingly, on 1st February 2011; ProFauna met the government represented by officials from the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Forestry Ministry, and the Internal Affairs Ministry; to discuss about the action plans to reduce the trade.

The meeting resulted positive responds from the government: the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry would report the progress of the trade to the President, and expressed that the government would respond seriously to the trade; the Forestry Ministry would order the subordinate agencies in Kalimantan to curb the trade; while the Internal Affairs Ministry would instruct the Governors and Regents in Kalimantan to take actions against the trade.

On 29 December 2011, the Internal Affairs Ministry eventually issued a circular letter instructing all governors in Indonesia to protect sea turtles in their provinces by preventing the crimes, monitoring, enforcing the law, socializing the related laws, and increasing public awareness. ProFauna applauds such national support of sea turtle conservation and will keep encouraging the government to protect the endangered marine species.

Meanwhile in Bali, ProFauna, that has worked for more than 10 years for sea turtles in the island, will also keep continuing the protection of the endangered species and other wildlife. After a decade working together with Kuta Beach security guards on the hands on project from protecting the nesting sea turtle to lay eggs, relocating the egg clutches to the safer hatchery, to releasing the hatchlings to the sea; ProFauna's evaluation shows that the guards are now able to handle the activities of sea turtle protection on Kuta Beach themselves. ProFauna considers this as a great achievement because a community development in conservation project is successful when the community can eventually hold the project independently. Therefore, starting from 2012, ProFauna allows the security guards of Kuta Beach to run the sea turtle protection on the beach themselves since the organisation has succeeded in empowering the local community and improving their skills of sea turtle conservation in their areas.

As for law enforcement assistance, education to school and universities, public campaign, and trade monitoring in Bali; ProFauna will actively continue the works in order to protect sea turtles and other wildlife in the island.