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Protecting Bangkaru - one of the last refuges and nesting sites for critically endangered sea turtles

Protecting Bangkaru - one of the last refuges and nesting sites for critically endangered sea turtles

(Photo: @alexwestover)

Since 2017, Lush has been buying organic certified raw virgin coconut oil directly from āluān - one of a collective of organisations located on the Bangkaru and Simeulue Islands, in the Aceh region of Indonesia. Alongside producing the highest quality coconut oil, these organisations are dedicated to conserving endangered ecosystems and providing a sustainable source of finance for sea turtle conservation programmes. 

Critically Endangered

A chain of pristine deep-sea islands, Simeulue and Bangkaru offer one of the last refuges and nesting sites for critically endangered turtles as well as several bird species. The EcosystemImpact foundation, which is part of the collective of organisations, aims to keep these Islands wild through a sustainability approach where business, people and nature thrive alongside each other.

(Bangkaru Island & the stretch of beach (foreground) where endangered sea turtles nest every single night of year and where hatchlings enter the ocean every day. Photo @alexwestover)

 

Bangkaru Ranger Project - The poaching of sea turtle eggs is a culturally ingrained practice in Indonesia, with the eggs being considered a local delicacy, along with being a free and easy source of food. Bangkaru is the only island in Indonesia where Green turtles nest every night of the year and is also an important nesting site for Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles. 


EcosystemImpact has a team of six rangers who provide constant protection of Bangkaru alongside Indonesia’s wildlife protection agency, BKSDA. Before the Bangkaru Ranger Programme was set up, turtle egg poachers sometimes took as many as 1,500 eggs a night. Since their involvement in 2016, EcosystemImpact and partners have  reduced poaching to 0.


Reef Restoration - In the region of Southeast Asia, which is the global center of marine biodiversity, over 80 % of coral reefs are considered as threatened. In 2019, EcosystemImpact started a small community-based project to protect and restore Simeulues’ coral reefs. Six fishers and divers were selected and trained to understand the importance of reefs from a conservation perspective. They are now in the process of building coral nurseries at five locations across Simeulue and its outer islands.


Join EcosystemImpact on a journey to Bangkaru Island with this short film created by award-winning photojournalist, Paul Hilton and Alex Westover…

 

Those looking to support can do so, here. 100% of money donated goes to support EcosystemImpact’s conservation work. 

#TogetherWeHealOurPlanet

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