Biak Island Region
West Papua, Indonesia
West Papua, Indonesia
Restoring mangrove ecosystems and supporting local livelihoods
This project restores and protects 46 hectares of highly degraded mangrove forest. Biak Island's mangrove estuaries are 75% deforested. Located in the center of the Coral Triangle, the reefs around the Biak Island Region have some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet.
SeaTrees has worked with Eden Reforestation Projects since June 2019, starting with a small plot of 60,000 mangrove trees on the main island of Biak, Indonesia. SeaTrees quickly maxed out the planting site at Mnurwar and in January 2020 began planting mangrove trees on the neighboring island of Padaidori. Just a few months later in October 2020, the project expanded to a second planting site on Padaidori.
By the end of this year, SeaTrees will have planted just over 700,000 mangrove trees with Eden Reforestation Projects in the Biak Island Region.
Each mangrove tree planted sequesters approximately 680 lbs [308kg] of CO2 over its lifetime.
This project provides long-term employment for the local community. This in turn drives other Sustainable Development benefits produced by the project.
The mangrove restoration process
Mangrove restoration on Padaidori 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 Padaidori 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.
SeaTrees has partnered with the Eden Reforestation Projects to fund local villagers on Padaidori Island in their effort to restore, replant, and protect the area’s unique and vital forest systems.