Coral Reef Ecotourism: Rehabilitation and Conservation Mission in Menjangan Island


Palemahan - Coral reefs are one of the important ecosystems because they have a high ecological and economic value. The ecological value of the coral reef ecosystem are as a habitat, a place to find food, a place to care for, and as a spawning ground for various marine biota. While its economic value includes being a fishing ground for various types of marine biota both for consumption and as well as an attractive tourist destination [1]. Coral reef ecosystems are one of the destinations offered in various marine tourism activities. Marine tourism objects with beautiful coral reefs as a backdrop can become a source of foreign exchange for the country through tourism activities.

Symbiosis of Mutualism in the Ecotourism Concept

Ecotourism is a strategy that can be used in the development of conservation areas [2]. This is reinforced by the existence of a symbiosis of mutualism, namely ecotourism requires conservation areas and conservation areas require ecotourism. One of the conservation areas in Bali is West Bali National Park. This area has several unique animals, namely Jalak Bali (Leucopsar rothschildi), deer (Cervus timorensis), bison (Bos javanicus), and the Ridel turtle (Lepidochelys olivaceae). In addition, there are also various types of ecosystems, including savanna forest ecosystems, tropical rain forests, monsoon forests, mangrove forests, and coral reef ecosystems [3].

The Attraction of Menjangan Island

Menjangan Island area in West Bali National Park is called a coral island because it has an area of 175 ha and has an distribution of coral reefs around the island [4]. The types of coral that dominate in Menjangan Island include otak-otak coral (Diploasterea), deer simbar coral (Acropora), and mushroom coral (Euphyllia). In addition to the various types of coral it has, Menjangan Island also has a unique cluster of corals. The coral contour has a mix of flat to steep or in diving terms it is called "drop off" [5].

Menjangan Island area is located in administrative area of Sumberkelampok Village, Gerokgak District, Buleleng Regency, Bali Province. Menjangan Island has an area of about 175 ha, most of which are rock cliffs and white sand formed from rock fragments. This island is not inhabited by residents, but there are several temples namely Giri Kencana Temple, Klenting Sari Temple, Segara Giri Kencana Temple which are visited by Hindus at Purnama (full moon) and Tilem (dead moon). To arrive at Menjangan Island, it can be reached by speed boat from Teluk Terima to be precise in the Labuan Lalang area within 30-40 minutes.

The shape of Menjangan Island extends from west to east with the island widening in the middle. The southern part of the island is dominated by mangrove vegetation with calm water types. The northern part of the island is dominated by strong waves. The western part of the island is a wide expanse of reef flats. The eastern part of the island has coral reefs that form a wall. Tourists who visit mostly aim to witness the underwater panorama of Menjangan Island which is famous for its variety of coral reefs, coral fish and wall dive activities

Operational Partnership and Collaborative Partnership to Supporting Community Participation

Community involvement has a positive impact on the development and management area. A good level of community participation is a partnership. Participation in this partnership will encourage the community to be involved from beginning of development activities to the evaluation stage [6]. In this article, the form of partnership that is suitable for Menjangan Island is an operational partnership. In this partnership concept, partners are not only being a decision makers but also do the division of labor. If the community is ready, after carrying out effective learning and training, then the form of the partnership will be upgraded to a collaborative partnership. This partnership is almost the same as operational partnership, however, in this cooperation the partners including the community have the same strong autonomy. The example of community participation that is proposed to be implemented in Menjangan Island, including:

  1. Participation in development, where the local government, especially the Gerokgak District government, involves the local community in the early development of coral reef ecotourism. Even though the community does not have knowledge, the information obtained by surrounding community, especially people who have lived there for generations, can be used as important data in preparing management and development systems;
  2. Participation in decision-making, where the government of Gerokgak District, West Bali National Park and local communities are given equal portions in opinion and argumentation so that in making decisions a win-win solution is taken so that synergies can be built between the parties involved in the development of coral reef ecotourism;
  3. Participation in implementation, where the community needs to be involved as actors managing coral reef ecotourism such as guides, parking attendants, information services, boat operators, dive guides, as well as in product marketing;
  4. Participation in the sharing of economic benefits, in which all parties involved are divided equally in accordance with the decisions that have been agreed upon. This can also motivate the community to be even more active in the ecotourism development and management system.

Strategic Movements for the Development of Menjangan Island Coral Reef Ecotourism

In the development of coral reef ecotourism, the leading ecotourism activity is diving. Strategies that can be proposed for the development of coral reef ecotourism in Menjangan Island, namely:

  1. Maintaining quality and increasing tourist attractiveness which includes the characteristics, biodiversity, and unique biota found on Menjangan Island. This is done with the aim of providing satisfaction for tourists in making visits so that they are expected to visit again. Activities that can be carried out to maintain the quality of coral reefs are underwater clean up and cleaning Acanthaster, namely cleaning starfish around coral reefs because they are deadly predators for coral reef ecosystems;
  2. Carry out area promotion activities both through social media and the official website of the West Bali National Park. With this activity it is hoped that it will be able to attract tourists to visit Menjangan Island;
  3. Make a rules regarding diving procedures. The mechanism that must be passed are to register in advance with the West Bali National Park, show a diving certificate, carry out a physical examination and complete dive equipment and provide education to divers about the importance of protecting coral reef ecosystems;
  4. Improve infrastructure and facilities. The way to do this is to add a transportation fleet to the Labuan Lalang crossing port location to facilitate access. Next, build an inn near the crossing port. Then make information booths and diving equipment places around the crossing port;
  5. Rehabilitate coral reefs to repair damaged coral reefs. Rehabilitation can be done by transplanting coral reefs. This transplant activity can involve tourists by providing seeds that have been prepared by the management during diving activities;
  6. Provide education and training to dive guides so that qualified dive guides are obtained. This is expected to guide tourists properly and minimize damage to coral reefs due to carelessness of visitors.

[1] Dewi E.S. 2006. Analisis Ekonomi Manfaat Ekosistem Terumbu Karang di Pulau Ternate Provinsi Maluku Utara [Thesis]. Institut Pertanian Bogor: Bogor.

[2] Drumm A, Moore A. 2005. Ecotourism Development – A Manual for Conservation Planners and Managers Volume 1: An Introduction to Ecotourism Planning. 2nd Edition. The Nature Concervancy, Arlington, Virginia, USA

[3] Yudasmara, G.A. 2010. Model Pengelolaan Ekowisata Bahari di Kawasan Pulau Menjangan Bali Barat [Thesis]. Institut Pertanian Bogor: Bogor. 

[4] Taman Nasional Bali Barat. 2003. Information Kit. Balai Taman Nasional Bali Barat. Departemen Kehutanan.

[5] Bakorsurtanal. 2001. Peta Potensi Sumber daya Alam wilayah Pesisir dan Laut Kabupaten Buleleng Provinsi Bali. Jakarta

[6] Mitchell, B. 1997. Resource and Environmental Management, London: Longman.

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