On the 24th February 2017, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and the Indonesian government launched one of the worlds largest marine conservation trusts – the Blue Abadi Fund. At the Economists World Ocean Summit in Bali, they announced US$23 million in support for the fund – a fund uniquely designed to empower local communities in stewarding the protection of the world’s most biodiverse reefs, Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape.
The Blue Abadi Fund will provide grants to local communities and organizations to sustainably manage their marine resources into the future. The fund links the Indonesian government with various donors to ensure long-term financial sustainability of the Bird’s Head Seascape conservation activities and is a powerful example of how creating a link between local leaders and global financial support can deliver sustained conservation goals. Some of the founding members of the Blue Abadi Fund include the Walton Family Foundation, USAID, MacArthur Foundation, Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, World Wild Fund and others.
Located in West Papua, the Bird's Head Seascape is the global epicentre of marine biodiversity, encompassing more than 2,500 islands and reefs and supporting over 1700 species of reef fish, 600 species of coral of which many are endemic to this region.
In commitment of the BHS MPA Network and Blue Abadi Fund, the West Papuan government has committed an annual minimum contribution of Rp. 7,215,000,000 (US$555,000), to go towards the management of the MPA network starting in 2018. Together with national government allocations and tourism user fee revenue, this will provide a reasonable budget to cover MPA costs and conservation initiatives in West Papua Province.