Biak Island, Indonesia

0°53'42.359"S, 136°2'17.784"E

This project restores and protects 1,000 hectares of highly degraded mangrove forest

Biak Island's mangrove estuaries are 75% deforested. The project employs local villagers to plant a diverse mix of mangrove species, creating both jobs and healthy ecosystems.

Biak Island is located in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs around Biak have some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet.

Regenerating Island Ecosystems with Local Communities

Problem: Poverty at the village level results in deforestation and further cycles of impoverishment.

Solution: Employ village residents to restore ecosystems and build resilient, sustainable communities.

Impact: Jobs enable people to provide food, healthcare and education to their families. Government agreements ensure permanent local control of restoration sites. Healthy mangrove forests sequester CO2 and support local marine ecosystems.

Funding: This project wouldn't exist without the financial support of forward-thinking Individuals and brands.

Each mangrove tree planted sequesters approximately 680 lbs [308kg] of C02 over its lifetime.

The mangrove restoration process

Mangrove restoration on Biak Island follows a structured, tested and straightforward process – comprised of these 8 steps:

1. Our local planting partner first works with all levels of the Indonesian government at the National, Regional, and most importantly, at the Village level (where the primary land ownership/rights is recognised in Indonesia) to secure the authorization agreements needed,  as well as the long-term permence for the project site(s).

2. Workers receive intensive training on proper restoration techniques. This is often delivered by workers from other local projects.

3. “Before” photos are taken for each hectare (at the time of first planting) with the Theodolite app showing GPS coordinates and other site identification data.

4.  Prior to planting, each worker “harvests” their own supply of appropriate mangrove species propagules/seeds from adjacent healthy remnant mangrove forests. The collected propagules are then recorded and bundled (per person), and held in storage at the village plant nursery until planted. Workers are paid once specific bundles are planted on scheduled communal planting days.

5. The workers first clear the sites of deforestation debris – and plant the appropriate mangrove species within the appropriate sub-ecosystems. Photo documentation after the planting has been completed is used to validate the estimated number of trees planted per daily section.

6. As needed, the workers also replant the propagules that can potentially die-off as a result of periodic crab predation, a severe weather event,  etc.

7. Our local planting partner monitors and measures survival rates, growth, health and natural regeneration rates on an annual basis. Photo documentation related to their specific planting sites is provided to SeaTrees to confirm this.

8. Long-term monitoring and guarding of the restored mangrove forest through a seperate “guard fund”, that is created at the very beginning of the restoration efforts. 10% of funding provided by SeaTrees, is set aside into a guard fund that is operated by Eden Projects. 

Assuring trees deliver ongoing impact

In addition to ongoing evaluation provided by Eden Projects, we assess every restoration site in person. Sustainable Surf / SeaTrees team members visit each planting site we support during the initial planting period to document and verify the process, and progress. We visit all planting sites on an annual basis to validate the progress, and to address any potential issues.

On Biak Island, trained monitoring teams use a series of “circle plots” (a standardized 'Silviculture' evaluation technique) located within the planting sites to annually measure tree growth rate, survival rate, diversity, and other indicators of forest health. These teams also identify areas of the forest that need additional restoration effort, from the occasional destructive impacts of animals ( typically, crab predation) and extreme weather. 

Project Partner

Eden Reforestation Projects

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U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Supported:

Measuring up to the UN SDGs on Biak Island

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Goal 1: No Poverty - Local villagers are hired to propagate and plant mangrove tree forests, and then guard them to maturity.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger - 10% of the trees planted are designed to meet food security needs. Jobs allow purchase of food, and ecosystem restoration increases local food supply.

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellness Reliable income increases access and the ability to afford healthcare.

Goal 4: Quality Education- Thousands of children are receiving an education as a result of their parents having a consistent income.

Goal 5: Gender Equality - Over 60% of the project's employees and leaders are women.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth -In addition to providing reliable income, the project encourages micro-enterprises and diversified income streams such as tourism.

Goal 13: Climate Action- Mangrove forests are one of the most effective ecosystems at capturing CO2 permanently.

Goal 14: Life Below Water Mangrove forests are essential to the health of the sea. The reproductive cycles of up to 70% of tropical fish and crustacean species occurs within the root systems of mangrove trees.

Goal 15: Life on Land - The Biak Island project plants a diverse mix of mangrove tree species, that ensures biodiversity and habitat for all local flora and fauna.

Background on the UN Sustainable Development Goals: