|the Cetasi logo, from www.cetasindonesia.org|
My colleagues and I have been involved in marine mammal conservation in Indonesia for more than a decade now. In addition to our independent works, we have banded together to improve the marine mammal conservation practices. Our first endeavour was the establishment of a mailing list for marine mammal enthusiasts (Marine Mammals Indonesia), created in 2004 when Yahoo was the king of cyberspace. Then, nine years later, we catapulted our joint efforts further by creating an online stranding database (www.whalestrandingindonesia.comWe have also conducted some workshops (notably, I should say, the November 2013 national stranding workshop, in addition to several local workshops). Those workshops required funding, the proposals of which we wrote either as individuals or on behalf of other institutions (notably the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center).
However, we feel that it’s time now to have our own legal vehicle to conduct our conservation programs. At the very least, it would help with grant application. Thus, since the last few months, Februanty Purnomo (Yanti), Adityo Setiawan (Adit) and myself have been discussing the possibility of legally establishing an NGO fully dedicated to the conservation management of marine mammals. The NGO will cover, inter alia, bycatch and entanglement issues, cetacean watching tourism, biological and ecological assessments, marine mammal protected areas, and stranding management.