Coastal Communtiy Empowerment through Mangrove and Coastal Vegetation Rehabilitation

Initiation of project activity: plastic potting by engaging local community group

Initiation of project activity: plastic potting by engaging ... , Gelung village, Panarukan sub-district, Situbondo, East Java © SAR, 2016


The project objective is to protect coastal areas in Pathek from coastal abrasion through mangrove ecosystem rehabilitation, public awareness and livelihood activities.


In the Northen Coast of Situbondo, environmental degradation has continued as the impact of policy development focusing mostly on the mainland. The Regent Decree No. 81/1988, regarding intensive aquaculture development, allowed mangrove forests to be converted into fishponds. As a result, there were high numbers of traditional, semi intensive and intensive ponds spread across approximately 1,304 ha. Within the last five years, these areas were abandoned, left empty and susceptible to natural disaster. 

The disaster does not only hit the abandoned area but also the surroundings. Pathek is one of the tourism areas in the northern coast of Situbondo, which was also affected by the disaster. The flash floods which occasionally occured brought materials and damaged the area. They also impacted the local economy. People can hardly carry out their activities and suffer from these conditions. Coastal erosion in this area has resulted in a narrowing of the distance between the beach and the road. This has created problems for the locals who have kiosks in the tourist area, as they do not have space for tourists to park their bikes or vehicles. Because of this, many kiosks have closed and stopped operating.

Simphoni Akar Rumput (SAR) is a community-based organisation with specialisation in community development and nature conservation, aiming to restore mangroves in the coastal area of Pathek and to secure local people's livelihoods. Together with community groups, through the Small Grant Facilities (SGF) project, SAR planted 74,000 mangroves covering an area of 8.3 ha. This project also engaged wider communities to improve their awareness on the importance of mangrove ecosystems and their services.


Target beneficiaries

There were two women's groups formed consisting of 19 members during the project implementation. The members were mostly low-income housewives, where the rest were young, unmarried women wishing to improve their skills and capacity through an income-generating programme. Total number of direct beneficiaries was 52 people (67% females and 33% males), and total number of indirect beneficiaries was 4,041 people (51% females and 49% males).


SAR has formed two community groups consisting of 19 female group members. These groups actively paticipated in preparing mangrove nurseries and 74,000 mangrove seedlings along with the livelihood acivities. By the end of project, mangrove growth showed a significant result, with a high survival rate (about 75% of mangroves grew well) and 3 ha coastal areas were restored. This project had given more access for the communities to information on mangrove rehabilitation. It also had raised community awareness of the importance of mangrove rehabilitation and protection, since community members and people surrounding the village were actively protecting the mangrove rehabilitation site from natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The rehabilitation program had already showed real benefits to the communities. Near the rehabilitation site, people could catch fish or collect clams to be sold or used for family consumption.   

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Besides being involved in mangrove rehabilitation activities, the two women's groups also received training on fish cracker and fish floss production, and product packaging. They had produced fish crackers and fish floss at a small scale, and sold the products at local markets. Even though the income generated from selling the crackers was relatively low, the project had successfully empowered the community members to use their time more effectively and enrich their knowledge and skills. With their improved skills and knowledge, community members would not hesitate to promote their products at special events such as local bazaars. 

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Accomplishments and challenges


Contributions to cross-cutting themes

The mangrove rehabilitation activity of this project does have an impact on climate change. By planting 74,000 mangrove seedlings, the trees will remove CO2 from the atmosphere and contribute to climate change mitigation. People living in the coastal area of Pathek have adapted to the situation and changed their way of thinking, by restoring and securing mangrove ecosystems and using them in sustainable ways for their livelihoods. Men's and women's groups, hand in hand, have equal access to control over natural resources by protecting and utilising the new mangrove ecosystem within their areas.   

Lessons Learned

  • Mangrove seedlings should be planted (nursery site should be located) near inter tidal zone and exposed to brackish water. Limited access to inter tidal zone and brackish water will increase seedling mortality rate, especially when the planting/propagation is initiated at the beginning of dry season.
  • The initiation of small scale businesses, training and followed by the production itself might take some time (going through some trials and errors). It is sometimes hard to estimate percentage of the benefit per month from the livelihood activities that instant, and the project period is also relatively short (10-12 months). The most reasonable outputs than can can be expected from these activities are knowledge sharing to the direct beneficiaries (groups involved) on how to process fish and other products to become commodities with more economic value and to build entrepreneurial spirit.
  • While choosing the types of livelihood activities to be conducted, it is best to use participatory approach, where grantee has gone through consultation process with the communities as the implementers on the ground. In addition, it is important to identify the all supporting aspects related to the livelihood activities/small-scale business starting from the provission of the raw materials, production, marketing to the management of the profit generated and cash flow to ensure the sustainability of the business.

Project Facts



Gelung Village, Panarukan Sub-District, Situbondo, East Java



2nd Mar 2016 to 31st Dec 2016

MFF Grant Amount

IDR 154,912,000

Co-financing Partner

In kind from others IDR 1,150,000 (USD 94.26)

In kind from Grantee IDR 6,700,000 (USD 549.8)

Implementing Partner

Simphoni Akar Rumput (SAR)

Jl. Anggrek Gg. II A RT003/RW003 Patokan Village, Situbondo-East Java

Contact person: Heri Sugianto/Project Manager

Phone/mobile: +6281336672555

Email address:

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