West Sumbawa, 6 June 2022 – PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMMAN) introduced the Gili Balu Marine Conservation area on the island of Kenawa in the West Sumbawa Regency (KSB) during an event on Sunday (5/6). This event followed the signing of a partnership agreement in May 2022 between AMMAN and the Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of West Nusa Tenggara (Dislutkan-NTB) to manage environmental and social aspects on Gili Balu, a group of small islands lying off the north coast of KSB. Gili Balu includes the islands of Kalong, Namo, Kenawa, Snake, Mandiki, Paserang, Kambing or Batu, and Belang. This partnership agreement be in effect for five years and cover an area in excess of 5,000 hectares.

The Transforma_Sea Gili Balu event was held to coincide with the commemoration of the annual 5 June World Environment Day to further increase public awareness about the environment. Attendees included the Head of Dislutkan-NTB, Muslim, ST., M.Si, Expert Staff of the Regent of West Sumbawa Regency Mansyur Sofyan, and Site Director/Head of Mining Engineering (KTT) AMMAN Wudi Raharjo. Also present were environmental activists and travel blogger Marischka Prudence, who also served as dive monitor. Apart from diving, the participants were also involved in beach clean-ups, snorkeling, and demonstrations on how to process organic waste into compost.

In his speech, AMMAN Site Director Wudi Raharjo stated that this conservation program is an expression of AMMAN’s commitment, as the largest copper and gold mining company in the Nusa Tenggara region, to implement Good Mining Practice Principles. “We manage environmental and social aspects responsibly as an integral part of AMMAN’s vision to create the best legacy. We hope that this partnership can increase the effectiveness of the management of the Gili Balu conservation area, so that it can provide benefits for the community and the local economy,” explained Wudi.

The Head of the NTB Muslim Maritime and Fisheries Service, ST., M.Si, expressed his appreciation to AMMAN for being proactive in encouraging the realization of this partnership. “We welcome these partnerships in our joint initiative programs in order to enhance the management of the Gili Balu Marine Conservation Area established by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in 2021. Optimal management of the more than 5.000 hectares in the protected area with ensure that it is in accordance with government programs and can provide added value for the environment and the surrounding community,” said Muslim.

Meanwhile, Mansyur Sofyan, a member of the expert staff of the West Sumbawa Regency, stated that the success of this partnership program would be determined by the active participation of the community. “The KSB government will urge various tourism awareness groups (Pokdarwis) in the vicinity to participate actively so that they can help develop a sustainable tourism sector. We also hope that the coordinated execution of the various programs can be an example for other companies,” explained Mansyur.

The Gili Balu area is noted for natural attractions such as white-sand beaches, rugged hills, mangrove forest areas, and the beauty of the subsurface ecosystem. However, there are still various obstacles hindering the realization of the natural potential of Gili Balu: rampant destructive illegal fishing, the limited quality of Human Resources (HR), restricted access to capital, and lack of community awareness of marine and coastal management. Therefore, the partnership will focus on several programs, including monitoring, protection, and rehabilitation of fish populations and habitats; capacity building of Human Resources (HR); provision and maintenance of area management facilities and infrastructure; as well as improvement of service-area utilization for tourism and sustainable fisheries.