Indonesia consists of approximately 17 thousand islands and most of them are small islands. As one of SEAMEO Centers in Indonesia, SEAMEO BIOTROP commits to promoting sustainable utilizations of ecosystems in Indonesia, among others coastal and islands ecosystems.
During an interview with the Maritime Fairtrade media on 31 August 2021, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP, Dr Zulhamsyah Imran shared his opinions on the potentials of small islands in Indonesia. His opinions are based on his journeys from Sabang to Merauke in Indonesia. “Small islands in Indonesia are potentials to be developed into various economic and conservation activities. The ecosystems that surround the islands, such as mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, can also be utilized as a better living ground for the aquatic biota,” he stated.
In terms of economic utilizations, the islands' ecosystems can be developed into ecotourism areas, with many beautiful and panoramic spots, which attract tourists from home and abroad, such as the pink-sand coastal area in Lombok Island, the Raja Ampat diving resort, and many more. “Ecotourism has not been properly developed due to regulations, infrastructures and lack of information shared to the prospective tourists,” he added.
Ecotourism is among sustainable livelihood options in the future and this is in line with the goals of SDG's number 8, namely sufficient income and economic growth. The economic value of these small islands cannot be achieved sustainably without sustainable resource management. (day).