A new initiative by the Marine Conservation team was launched in 2023 called Guardians of the Anambas Seas. Just as the name suggests, this initiative is a training program for the youths of Anambas Islands to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to become future marine conservationists.
Supported by PADI Aware Foundation Community Grant Award, the Guardians of the Anambas Seas was first launched in Kiabu Village where the Marine Conservation team is based and is one of the remotest villages in Anambas. After the preliminary process, five young people from Kiabu were accepted into the program: Yuni, Mizan, Rivan, Herdi and Bayu.
We partnered up with Bawah Reserve, Max Dive Centre. and LKKPN Pekanbaru (Marine Protected Area management body) for the training program consisting of a PADI Open Water Diving Course and in-class conservation workshops that ran from May till August of this year.
After months of training these five guardians graduated and now work together with our Marine Conservation team for the reef rehabilitation project in Kiabu; so far they have helped restore 400 meter-square of degraded area. On top of that, they are also involved in our Coral Adoption initiative; they are responsible for deploying and monitoring the coral spiders and fragments that have been adopted with assistance and supervision from our team.
With the success of the Guardians of the Anambas Seas in Kiabu, the Marine Conservation team is planning to expand the initiative to Telaga Island soon. By empowering the local youths of the Anambas, we hope that these guardians will continue to carry the torch of our marine conservation work in their villages and beyond.