Kalabia Foundation (Indonesia)

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© Shawn Heinrichs

Yayasan Kalabia Indonesia (YaKIn), or the Kalabia Foundation, is dedicated to improving the long-term well-being of the people of Papua by empowering them with the knowledge to ensure the conservation of their marine and coastal resources. YaKIn was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from Conservation International Indonesia's marine programme with the aim to focus specifically on the Kalabia Education initiative. YaKIn’s vision is a sustainable Papua for future generations.

YaKIn receives the Prize for its programme 'Environmental Education for the Heart of the Coral Triangle'.

Environmental Education for the Heart of the Coral Triangle

The Kalabia is a 34-metre long ship that brings interactive marine conservation education to more than 100 remote coastal villages of Raja Ampat, West Papua. This epicentre of spectacular marine biodiversity is host to ecologically, culturally and economically important ecosystems integral to the survival and wellbeing of communities. These resources are under threat from destructive fishing and poaching as well as emerging threats, such as improper waste disposal, all compounded by climate change.

The Kalabia teaches whole communities that by using unsustainable practices they are undermining their own future. Staffed with local educators, this innovative floating platform tours the islands offering 4-day intensive education programmes to children, while involving the communities. Children participate in a mixture of small-group lessons, field trips and games. They acquire knowledge and appreciation of natural resources, and build responsibility to preserve the unique ecosystems around them.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s fishermen, businessmen and women, government officials and conservation leaders who will need to understand and practice reef stewardship. For this reason, the programme’s ambition is to provide all regional youth with an intensive study course every two years. Since its inception the Kalabia has already taught more than 10,000 students in its core programme, visited all Raja Ampat villages over three times, and touched the lives of well over 100,000 people through extended programmes.

Recommendation by the International Jury of the Prize:

"This project is an admirable example of a creative and imaginative educational response to conserving a threatened and special marine environment – which demonstrably helps ensure its long-term future. The innovative educational programmes – delivered to all villages in the Raja Ampat archipelago region through the ‘Kalabia’ dedicated ship – aim to underpin marine ecosystem protection and the sustainable use of natural resources. This is achieved through holistic, interactive, experiential and engaging learning methods and place-based learning which inspire awareness, pride, ownership, responsibility and love of community natural resources amongst youth – and through them by extension, the adult community. Culturally based and sensitive, the project supports positive transformative change and local empowerment, and is an exemplar of excellent ESD, which we would hope can inspire similar projects in threatened coastal environments."

Learn more about the project:

Related Information: Laureates 2018