Capacity building in the area of natural resources and indigenous livelihoods has recently been undertaken for marine resource management practitioners from Eastern Indonesia. The training course aimed to provide essential theory and provide hands-on experience in community-based enterprise development, sustainable livelihoods and indigenous rights-based management. The training also helped trainees develop skills to engage effectively with international conservation networks.
The intensive one-week training was held at Charles Darwin University (CDU) through the School of Environment. Two of the participants were field officers from the Indonesian Locally Managed Marine Area Network (I-LMMA). Bertha Ronsumbre, from the Padaido Islands in Papua Province, and Dinawanti La Rae, from the Banda Islands in Maluku Province, manage various community outreach programs in their respective focal areas.
“It is essential in their future roles as conservation leaders that they are able to disseminate information from the field and communicate with donor agencies,” said Dr Dirk Steenbergen of CDU who, with support from Ass Prof Natasha Stacey and Julian Gorman, organised and ran the training.
As part of the capacity building program, the trainees were exposed to several Australian case studies.
“Particularly visiting the Aboriginal community of Nauiyu [Daly River] provided me with new ideas on how we can improve livelihoods and make them more sustainable for people on the Banda Islands. Tuna and nutmeg are the two mains sources of livelihood for islanders there, and there is good scope to develop these in ways that is ecological sustainable and provides secure income,” said Dinawanti La Rae.