Meity Mongdong

Ashoka Fellow
Indonesia,
Fellow Since 2005
Bintang Laut

Citation

This profile was prepared when Meity Mongdong was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Meity has been working tirelessly for more than a decade to introduce an innovative collaborative management system in Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi that is a marked departure from the centralized, top-down approach to the management of national parks and other conservation areas that has long prevailed in Indonesia. She aims to encourage and prepare people living in villages within the park to participate actively in the park’s management. Meity has organized training programs that have exposed park residents to the costs of resource-depleting actions and the benefits of effective conservation measures, and she has spearheaded the establishment of a permanent Concerned Citizens’ Forum. She has also taken the lead in stimulating the formation of a new park Management Council, a multi-stakeholder decision-making body in which forum representatives currently occupy six of its fifteen seats.
With the authorization of the council, Meity has organized a collaborative rezoning process that has clearly demarcated the three types of marine areas—tourism regions, fishing regions, and “no-take” conservation zones. To ensure the effective enforcement of the new zoning scheme, she has also developed a 24-hour co-patrolling system in which community representatives regularly participate and the attendant costs are covered from park entrance fee revenues.
The co-management approach that Meity has introduced in Bunaken enjoys the enthusiastic support of all stakeholders. It has also been endorsed by the governor of North Sulawesi, and senior Forestry Ministry officials in Jakarta have publicly supported its replication in other national park settings. In an effort to facilitate that process, Meity has traveled to other marine national parks in Sulawesi, Komodo Island, Papua, and Malaysia, where she has discussed the Bunaken model with the relevant public officials and leaders of citizen-sector organizations.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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