Aceh’s coastal systems contain some of the highest concentrations of marine biodiversity in the world, with critically endangered species like the leatherback turtle, genetically unique species such as giant clams, and extensive coral reefs which support many local livelihoods. To protect these vital resources from destructive fishing practices, FFI is working with coastal communities and the Aceh government’s Marine and Fisheries Agency to identify the areas of highest conservation importance. To secure these, FFI is empowering customary leaders and coastal communities to work with local government in implementing a network of Locally Managed Marine Areas, which will safeguard marine biodiversity and fisheries across Aceh’s offshore islands.

This co-management system uniquely combines customary marine law and government policy, and is being implemented through several core components: community-driven enforcement of protected areas, capacity building of key stakeholders, marine policy development, establishment of conflict resolution systems, support of community livelihoods and coral reef surveys to assess ecosystem changes.