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EditPhoto Title:Bird's Head Seascape
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EditImage Description:Wayag Lagoon, Bird's Head Seascape, Indonesia
EditPhoto Credit:© Will Turner
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​The coral reefs and mangroves of the Bird's Head Seascape are the life support system of the people of West Papua, Indonesia, providing protein, jobs and coastal protection from storms and tsunamis.

The Seascape also sits within the Coral Triangle, a marine area in the western Pacific Ocean considered the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. Protecting it is critical for all the life that depends on it — and a​fter a decade of conservation efforts, the Bird’s Head Seascape​ is now a global model for community-driven conservation at scale and is turning the tide on threats such as destructive fishing methods and overfishing.


Our role

In 2004, Conservation International forged an unprecedented collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, the World Wide Fund for Nature and numerous local partners to sustainably manage coastal and marine resources in the Bird’s Head Seascape. The collaboration ensures food security and sustainable economic benefits for local communities while also preserving the Seascape’s globally significant biodiversity.

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Edit Item Title:Improve fisheries for local food security
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Edit Item Text:Conservation International and our partners are working to ensure that local communities have an enduring food supply through improved fisheries management. CI helped design a network of marine protected areas (MPAs), covering over 3.6 million hectares (8.89 million acres), that put into place effective fisheries regulations and enforcement systems. As a result, local fishermen are not only catching more fish with less effort, but are also retaining the vast majority of the total catch.
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Edit Item Title:Strengthen local communities
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Edit Item Text:CI and our partners are working to empower and enable local communities to strengthen their rights and their capacity to manage marine resources within their own unique cultural context. CI worked with indigenous communities to design an MPA management system that legally strengthens traditional land and sea ownership rights (tenure) and reinvigorates important cultural practices.
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Edit Item Title:Sustainable economic development and livelihoods
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Edit Item Text:CI and our partners are working with local governments to strengthen local economies by focusing on sustainable ecotourism and protecting the Seascape’s unparalleled marine biodiversity. For example, CI worked with the Raja Ampat government to establish a shark and ray sanctuary and to promote the region as a world-class marine tourism destination. CI also designed and implemented an innovative tourism user fee system to ensure benefits transfer directly to communities and support conservation efforts.
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EditImage Alt Text:Starfish and silver fish in the Bird's Head Seascape. © Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:3.6 million hectares
EditText:The Bird’s Head Seascape contains Indonesia’s first functioning MPA network. These 15 MPAs collectively protect almost 3.6 million hectares (8.89 million acres) of critical coastal and marine habitats. The MPA network protects over 30% of Papua’s critical marine habitats and more than 16% of the total marine area.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
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    More of Our Work Links

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    First Image

    EditTitle:Climate
    EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_30785027.jpg
    EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

    Second Image

    EditTitle:Science and Innovation
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    EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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    EditTitle:The Ocean
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    EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
    EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse