Explore the Ocean: The Ultimate Guide to Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape is now online

8/14/2014

Birdsheadseascape.com is the most comprehensive repository of scientific, conservation and tourist information for this one-of-a-kind marine destination​

Arlington, Va. USA – The global coalition of conservation partners including Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy​, World Wildlife Fund and 15 other international and local partners in Papua, Indonesia officially launched the Bird’s Head Seascape website at www.birdsheadseascape.com.

The site is the ultimate source for information for the Bird’s Head Seascape, and is a powerful tool for continuing the conservation of the treasure trove of biodiversity in Papua, Indonesia by making the underwater wonders of the region now accessible to all with access to a computer. Developed by the Bird’s Head Seascape team, it provides information on conservation initiatives, groundbreaking scientific discoveries, local news, world-class diving destinations, unique sustainable tourism options and stunning photography. The site will eventually house photograph databases for the identification of manta rays and whale sharks in the region. 

Dr. Mark Erdmann​, Conservation International's Vice President of Asia-Pacific Marine Programs, said, “After several years of anticipation and planning, we're delighted to unveil a one-stop, comprehensive website that captures the beauty and mind-blowing biodiversity of the Bird’s Head Seascape while serving as the authoritative repository of information on this very special part of the planet. Our aim is to use this site to further encourage the growth of sustainable tourism to the Bird's Head, which we believe will ensure the region’s unparalleled biodiversity remains a healthy asset for generations.”

The Birds Head Seascape of Papua is widely considered to be the global epicenter of marine biodiversity.  The coral reefs and mangroves of the Bird's Head Seascape are the life support system of the traditional owners and unique cultures of Papua, Indonesia.  The region supports more than 1700 species of fish and 600 corals, and remains an important ark for globally important species including Leatherback turtles, Mantas and Whale sharks.

In 2004, a coalition involving CI, The Nature Conservancy, WWF and numerous local partners united to take action and protect these values against rampant shark-finning, bomb-fishing and other threatening its existence. A decade later, the Bird’s Head Seascape is seen as a global model for partnership between communities and government and now the area has become a global ‘bucket-list’ dive destination.

“We have received strong support from the communities, local governments and especially from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs who is committed to having 20 million hectares of marine realm protected and effectively managed by the year 2020,” stated Gondan Renosari, Marine Program Director of TNC-Indonesia Program.

On the opening page’s Featured Image and Video section, visitors can share their images and trip experiences. In the Maps section, pictures can be added to the online image library for any of the over 200 BHS dive sites mapped on birdsheadseascape.com. Blogs about conservation, diving, regional news and science update regularly and are archived.  Newsfeeds via Facebook and Twitter will notify followers about events taking place in the Bird’s Head as well as send alerts as soon as new content and images have been posted.  

Those unable to experience the Birds Head’s wonders first hand, can get a glimpse of what the Bird’s Head Seascape gives to the world by visiting www.birdsheadseascape.com.
 
About Conservation International (CI) – Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity for the well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and employs more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and has nearly 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please visit our website at: www.conservation.org/ or visit us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
 
Birdsheadseascape.com Partners –​ Conservation International, Raja Ampat Research and Conservation Center (RARCC), National Oceanograpich and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), RARE, Yayasan Kalabia Indonesia (YKI), Destination Management organization Raja Ampat (DMO R4), Sea Sanctuaries Trust, Yayasan Penyu Papua (YPP), Indonesia Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC), The Nature Conservancy, WildAid, The Manta Trust, University of California Los Angeles, World Wildlife Fund, Misool Baseftin, University of Papua (UNIPA)

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