The 2010 Equator Prize was awarded to KOMUNTO (Komunitas Nelayan Tomiya) – The Tomiya Fishermen Community from Indonesia. KOMUNTO is a community based organization. It is made up of representatives of the fishermen groups from East Tomiya, Wakatobi, Indonesia. The organization works to encourage the independent administration of local natural resources to improve the well being of the fishermen. It was developed as a response to communities grievances about Foreign Commercial fishing, use of destructive fishing methods and an absence of local governing leadership to manage sustainable use of the Wakatobi natural resources.
Wondering what the Wakatobi natural resources are?
The reefs of the Wakatobi Marine Park is the 3rd largest in Indonesia and support a tremendously colorful cross-section of biodiversity. But its 3.4million acres of islands and waters support a fishing industry that, through destructive practices and overuse, has placed those same natural resources in danger.
Check out a video of the Biodiversity in Wakatobi Reefs:
The Equator Prize is awarded to recognize and celebrate outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation of biodiversity. As sustainable community initiatives take root throughout the tropics, they are laying the foundation for a global movement of local successes that are collectively making a significant contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Equator Prize nominations are accepted from three regions of eligibility within the equatorial belt (23.5 degrees north and south of the equator): Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to worldwide recognition for their work, a monetary award, and an opportunity to shape national and global policy, all nominees are invited to join the Community Knowledge Service (CKS) and are profiled in the Equator Knowledge Zone (EKZ) database of practice.
You can find more details and past winners on the Equator Prize website HERE
Key Impact of KOMUNTO
KOMUNTO has been able to mobilize and organize previously isolated and scattered fishermen groups. Representatives of the organization are now leaders in their respective communities, encouraging the local population to decrease catch sizes, eliminate coral reef bleaching, stabilize fish prices, access capital for local development projects, and engage local government in management activities.
- Local participation in zoning and spatial planning for the sustainable management and use of Wakatobi National Park
- Establishment of three protected areas around the island of Tomia, declaring these sites as “fish banks” safe from exploitation and allowing for regeneration of fish stocks
- Member groups make financial contributions to the organization through primary savings (simpanan pokok), a compulsory fee (iuran wajib) and a voluntary savings (simpanan sukarela) from each member
- Financial contributions are also earmarked for members with special needs such as health, funerary reasons, weddings, and other traditional events
- Development of an organizational cooperative through its economy division, providing savings and loans services and supporting trade activities
- In 2007, the spatial zonation of Wakatobi National Park was signed and approved by the national government, with inputs from KOMUNTO
- The KOMUNTO “fish bank” model has been adopted by other local fishing communities
- In 2008, all twenty-seven KOMUNTO member groups (consisting of 418 families) formally that they share a common fishing approach, including the outlawing of explosives and sedatives
The KOMUNTO project and others like it, all need financial support to survive, check the Nature Conservancy. org website for how you can be of help. Congratulations KOMUNTO! Keep Up the Good work!
The following videos and books from Amazon make interesting study materials to learn about Coral reefs: