WAKATOBI National Marine Park: the”Underwater Nirwana”
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Operation Wallacea established its first research programme in Indonesia, with sites in the Wallacea region. This area is in the centre of the Indonesian archipelago, where deep ocean trenches separate the islands to the east and west. These trenches prevented the islands from being joined to the main continental landmasses during the lowered sea levels of the ice ages. As a result of the long period of isolation a large number of unique species have evolved, leading to this region containing some of the most endemic-rich forests in the world. These forests are also some of the least studied regions, and are likely to become some of the most threatened. Therefore it is important to study these areas in order to understand the forests and implement conservation strategies. The Operation Wallacea forest site is based in the Lambasango Forest Reserve on Buton Island. The marine research centre that Opwall has established in the Wakatobi Marine National Park is based in a region that contains very high levels of diversity of coral genera, the proxy commonly used to assess overall diversity of coral reefs. The research centre is contributing to international coral research.
As part of the drive by Operation Wallacea to maximise income generated from the projects for local communities, the different parts of the projects are now managed by wholly Indonesian owned NGOs or organisations with strong involvement from local communities.
|Address||:||Hoga Island, Wakatobi, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia|