TCEC - Serangan, Bali | WWF Indonesia

TCEC - Serangan, Bali

The Turtle Conservation and Education Center (TCEC) opened by the governor of Bali, Mr Dewa Barata (20 January 2006) on Serangan island of Bali. TCEC is developed as part of the comprehensive strategy to eradicate illegal turtle trading on the island. Established on a land of 2.4 ha, the TCEC is trying to support the community of Serangan to find the alternatives beside illegal turtle business. The centre harnesses the potential of education, tourism, conservation and research, with a liberal sprinkling of business, to give endangered turtles one more chance on Serangan.

The four fundamental aspects to the centre include putting a definitive end to turtle trade, by encouraging the public not to consume turtle products (religious use or otherwise), and to generally support turtle conservation; providing turtles for rituals - without their killing - and monitoring turtle size and numbers, so that their use can be strictly controlled and regulated; offering employment opportunities for locals from Serangan; and finally, acting as a watchdog for turtle trade - in Serangan in particular and Bali in general.

TCEC supported by WWF, Governor Bali, The Major of Denpasar's Municipality authorities, the Provincial Nature Resources Conservation Agency, and the local community.
Along with Tanjung Benoa village, Serangan island have for decades been the largest black market for the sea turtle meat and products, as well as a home base for hundreds of turtle poacher's ships that sail as far as Derawan in East Kalimantan and the Bird Head of Papua regions. So massive was the trade and poaching that they had not only destroyed the sea turtle population around Bali but also inflicted a devastating ecological impact on various regions in Indonesia.

On its heyday up to the year of 2000, the massive business could ship over 30,000 turtles per year onto the island. A combination of adaptive strategies, fine- tuned advocacy and relentless down-to-earth community empowerment programs carried out by WWF and the local authority of Bali in recent years, have not only managed to significantly reduce the number of trafficked turtles but also to mobilize growing support from the local, thus, gradually alienating the big turtle traders.

The Centre's conservation reach extends over to the neighbouring island of Java, where efforts are under way to protect a major nesting beach that is regularly pilfered by turtle egg traders. Some of the Centre's shelled residents hatched right here, their nests safely relocated from Java. Of these, some will be released when they have reached 40 cm or so in length, while others will be provided for religious ceremonies - without being killed. For better or worse, the trajectory of Serangan remains tightly intertwined to the fate of marine turtles. But out of a shell-shocked tourism industry, teetering turtle populations, and the goodwill and enthusiasm of Serangan people who care, something quite beautiful indeed could emerge.

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