Help protect Pulau Banyak sea turtles!

A massive thank you to everyone who has kindly supported and generously donated to Yayasan Pulau Banyak so far! Its a humbling feeling to know that many people care so much for the sea turtles and local communities of Pulau Banyak. It has been extremely heart warming to see so many people 'get out of their shell for penyu' by supporting Craig (Seppy) Allsep in his 24 hour stand up paddle boarding event. Furthermore a number of fellow conservation organisations and passionate conservationists from Aceh held the 'Let's save sea turtles at Pulau Banyak Aceh' fundraising night in Jakarta. A huge thanks goes out to the team that worked so hard to put this together.
Donations have provided all important funds to continue patrolling the nesting beach on Bangkaru Island to continue monitoring the nesting turtles and keep the egg poachers away. Providing longevity of the flagship species conservation efforts within the archipelago is crucial, at optimal the organisation runs on approximately $4000 per month. As the leatherback season is soon approaching it is important that the organisation has the capacity to undertake the season fully equipped. We're currently fundraising to cover in-field operational costs during the elusive Leatherback season as there is still much to learn about the females that nest on Bangkaru Island.

Yayasan Pulau Banyak aims to promote local participation in enhancing conservation efforts through community capacity building and socio-economic activities, in order to sustainably manage and monitor the natural resources of Pulau Banyak in the Aceh Singkil region, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The local NGO has been operating within the archipelago for over 20 years and have made considerable achievements towards the grassroots in-situ sea turtle conservation programme of the 'endangered' Green turtle and 'critically-endangered' Leatherback turtle nesting populations, both of which are listed under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In conjunction with capacity-building and alternative livelihood development programmes throughout the local coastal communities, Yayasan Pulau Banyak has also implemented English teaching and educational programs through the local schools.

The main threats impacting the sea turtle populations of Pulau Banyak:

- Unsustainable harvesting of turtle eggs
- Pollution: lost drift nets and fishing equipment, plastic waste
- Habitat destruction from human development and destructive forms of fishing
- Bycatch: non-selective forms of fishing (trawlers, longlines, gillnets)

Yayasan Pulau Banyak is currently seeking funding to aid towards:

- Improve relationships/ networks with relevant law enforcement agencies and local senior Government officials to ultimately gain momentum towards extension of MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with BKSDA (Nature Conservation Agency; Indonesia)
- Minimising the greater threats towards sea turtles and their habitats of Pulau Banyak - maintaining the monitoring of the nesting beach on Pulau Bangkaru
- Expand on monitoring for a number of different species living on this small-island ecosystem and facilitate for domestic and international personal research, internships, and university field study courses
- Promote further awareness of conservation efforts through international volunteers programme, local community capacity-building programmes (English teaching, environmental education), and alternative livelihood development (sustainable, low-impact eco-tourism and maintaining ecosystem services)
- Expanding on local community engagement (beach clean ups, waste management and sustainable living services, community-based events on sea turtles and environmental education, and establishing educational facility for student field trips)
- Create relationships and combined support with local Acehnese and global sea turtle conservation networks through knowledge-exchange and training field trips

Sea turtles play a vital role in balancing marine ecosystems and habitats by maintaining coral reef health and sea grass beds, and have been covering the World's oceans for over 100 million years - don't let them perish due to unsustainable human influence.

Find out more on how you can get involved: www.acehturtleconservation.org and stay up-to-date with news from the field: www.facebook.com/YayasanPulauBanyak | Twitter: @AcehSeaTurtles


If you're interested in helping out with fundraising or able to offer any noble ideas feel free to contact us through e-mail: [email redacted]

Help spread the word and don't underestimate the size of our community. Every little bit helps as support goes a long way within this part of the globe, be the change you want to see in the world...

Your support and kind generosity will directly go towards ensuring the continuation of protection and conservation for the largest sea turtle population in Sumatra, Indonesia.
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Organizer

Maggie Muurmans 
Organizer
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