top of page
Scuba Diver in Reef
Reviving Coral Reef
Belitung Island, Indonesia

Islands of Stunning Beach: Belitung

Header Belitung.png

Belitung Island, Indonesia, has always been a postcard come to life. Belitung is blessed with some of the best beaches of the country. The sand is soft and white, and some even argue that the sand here is even whiter than that in Bali. Belitung is also surrounded by more than 100 small islands. Almost all of them are decorated with white sand and granite rocks. Vibrant coral reefs, teeming with colorful fish, were the crown jewels of this island paradise. The eastern part of Belitung Island presents a variety of coastal ecosystems (mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef ecosystems). 

Indonesia's Paradise Lost

Once pristine shores of Bangka Island now witness a disturbing scene. Miners venture out, not to admire the turquoise waters, but to exploit the seabed. Their relentless pursuit of tin, a crucial element in modern life, comes at a devastating cost.

Land-based tin mines have already ravaged Bangka and Belitung, leaving behind a lunar wasteland. Now, the miners turn their hungry dredges towards the very heart of the island's lifeblood – the coral reefs. This insatiable search for tin suffocates these vibrant ecosystems with sediment, a slow, silent killer. The consequences are dire. Lush coral gardens, once teeming with marine life, are fading to ghostly white graveyards. This destruction isn't just a cosmetic blemish; it's a death sentence for the marine ecosystem.

The impact goes beyond aesthetics. Local fishermen, who relied on the bounty of the reefs, now face dwindling catches. The vibrant tapestry of marine life that sustained them is being ripped apart, jeopardizing their way of life and the island's food security.

Green Coral and Fish

Why you should care?

The consequences of this environmental damage are far-reaching.

  • Lost Bounty for Fisherman Community: Healthy coral reefs are nurseries for fish. With the reefs dying, fish populations are plummeting. Local fishermen, who have for generations relied on the reefs for their livelihood, are returning with empty nets. This not only impacts their income but also threatens food security for their families.

  • Tourism Takes a Hit: Belitung's stunning coral reefs were a major draw for tourists. Divers and snorkelers flocked to witness the underwater wonderland. But with the reefs fading and fish disappearing, tourism is taking a major hit. Resorts, dive shops, and countless local businesses are struggling, impacting the island's entire economy.

The impact goes deeper than just financial hardship. The decline of the coral reefs chips away at the very soul of Belitung. It disrupts the cultural traditions tied to fishing and the connection the islanders have with the ocean. It's a story of lost heritage and a future shrouded in uncertainty.

The story of a man, a hope.

WhatsApp Image 2024-07-01 at 17.11.35.jpeg

Meet Pak Hardi, a local of Belitung. Belitung's crystal-clear waters used to be Pak Hardi's livelihood. As a boat captain, he'd ferry tourists past vibrant coral reefs. Now, the water's murky, the reefs bleached. Tin mining suffocates the corals, fish vanish, and Pak Hardi's tourist trips dry up. Pak Hardi's tourist trips became less frequent, replaced by the quiet desperation of a fisherman returning with empty nets. Feeding his family became a daily struggle.

Unlike others who voiced their anger towards the faceless corporations behind the illegal mining practices, Pak Hardi understood the futility of fighting a giant. He knew that change wouldn't come easy, but despair wasn't an option. So, with the unwavering spirit of a man who loved his island, Pak Hardi decided to take matters into his own hands.

He started small, using his meager savings to buy coral fragments and learn the delicate art of coral restoration. Slowly, painstakingly, he began to replant the corals, nurturing them back to health. Every weekend, he'd gather a handful of villagers who shared his concern, and together they'd work tirelessly underwater, planting seeds of hope for the future.

This is where you come in!

Alone, these efforts were like a lone candle flickering against a raging storm. The limited funds meant slow progress, and the vastness of the damaged reef made their task seem insurmountable. Yet, they persevered, driven by the unwavering belief that even the smallest act of kindness towards nature could make a difference.

This is where you come in. By contributing to our campaign, we can help Pak Hardi and his community accelerate their efforts. For every $10 donated, you actually helped to plant 1 coral seed, and not only that, your donation will provide them with the resources they need – more coral fragments, better equipment, and training to expand their restoration program. Together, we can transform Pak Hardi's one-man fight into a powerful movement, reviving Belitung's coral reefs and restoring the livelihood of its people.

Let's help Pak Hardi rewrite the story of Belitung, a story of resilience, hope, and the enduring power of a community united.

bottom of page