Indonesia, with more than 17,000 islands, is the world’s largest archipelagic nation, possessing a tremendous richness of marine biological resources and some of the world’s most important fisheries. The country is at the heart of the Coral Triangle, with nearly 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs, which in turn represent habitat for the vast majority of fish harvested by coastal fishers. In addition to representing about two-thirds of the national protein supply, Indonesia’s fisheries represent one of the largest supplies of marine products to the international market, providing about $4 billion annually in exports, with the United States being the highest value market. In late 2010, USAID launched the IMACS project to continue that support, including coordination and integration of its other assistance in the sector under its Marine Resources Program. IMACS was designed to enhance Indonesia’s sustainable fisheries management using an ecosystem-based approach, and coastal community resilience and climate change adaptation. MMAF at the national level, together with provincial and district marine affairs and fisheries offices (DKP), were the primary partners and beneficiaries of the project and a major focus of project resources for capacity building. IMACS activities were generally co-designed and co-implemented with MMAF.
The project worked at the national level and primarily in 10 districts within two target provinces, Southeast Sulawesi (SULTRA) and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). A small grants fund was important to the success of IMACS work, with grants incorporating strong local capacity building and sustainability elements. The project issued 42 small grants, primarily supporting facets of climate change adaptation and coastal community resilience in the two provinces. Grants also funded activities and innovations in fisheries data collection and management, communications and awareness raising, community surveillance, and local planning and legal reform.
Many IMACS interventions can be viewed within USAID’s science, technology, innovation, and partnership initiative. Especially for improved fisheries management, science-based approaches based on improved data collection, analysis, and reporting were integral to the work. A series of innovations focused on tools and computer applications underpinned important fisheries governance enhancements, while helping private business compile essential data supporting transparency and traceability. And while IMACS worked extensively with the government, partnerships — with the private sector, research institutions, and community groups — drove many results and have already led to sustained and expanded improvements in the sector. Under the project a total of eight public-private partnerships were established involving at least 23 companies