Bunaken Marine Park is one of the most beautiful underwater attractions owned by Indonesia, located in the village of Bunaken, Bunaken district, Manado city, North Sulawesi. Rich in the diversity of marine life makes this place known to the world. Now its existence threatened damaged by the amount of plastic waste.
Bunaken National Park has been established by the government since 1991. Based on the Decree of the Minister of Forestry Number: 730 / Kpts-II / 1991 dated 15 October 1991 the extent reached 89.065 Ha. This marine park consists of 5 islands that are included in the national park area, namely Manado Tua Island, Bunaken Island, Nain Island, Siladen Island and Mantehage Island and the small island all around that island.
Called a haven for world-class divers, it has thousands of species of fish and dozens of coral reefs and another marine biota. Almost all types of marine life can be found in the waters of Bunaken, so this place is claimed as the most complete underwater park or biodiversity in the world.
Now the condition of marine park Bunaken in danger and lost the charm of the diversity of marine biodiversity. Many tourists who visit and dive complained about the amount of plastic waste they encountered while diving and dirty beach conditions contaminated by the amount of garbage.
The management of this resort takes action, tracing the source of the waste. Apparently, the garbage comes from domestic waste carried by the river, flowing into the waters of Bunaken, and also the act of the visitors who are not responsible for maintaining cleanliness of the environment.
Some of the rivers that carry the waste include the Malalayang River, Sario, Tondano, and Talawaan. The garbage that is often found in the marine park and Bunaken beach cannot be separated from the community activities that make the rivers as their place to dispose of garbage.
The main cause of the amount of garbage in the river is the lack of awareness of the community to not littering and lack of public awareness to protect the environment.
As a result, the waters of Bunaken filled with garbage. Rubbish that drifted to the bottom of the sea is bad for marine life. Sea biota is a living thing that is in the sea, either animals or plants or coral reefs.
The waste can make coral reefs damaged, cannot grow and can even die. Coral reefs are a very important part of the marine ecosystem as a source of life for the variety of marine life.
In coral reefs generally live thousands of species of fish and dozens of species of mollusks, crustaceans, algae and another marine biota. If the waste is left, the charm of the beauty and richness of marine life in this area will be lost.
The threat of damage to this underwater park makes the local government take concrete action with the activities of “Save Bunaken” and Clean-Clean Beach. The activity involves the surrounding community, tourists, ASN North Sulawesi Provincial Government and Manado City, Indonesian Police and environmental NGOs.
The activities are conducted in 2016 and will take place every month. The aim is to encourage the community to play an active role in protecting the environment by not littering and increasing public awareness of the environment, and responsible for making Bunaken as a clean and beautiful tourist destination.
Recently Bunaken National Park Office imposed an appeal for diving tourists to take part in preserving the Bunaken marine park by participating in planting coral.
This has been encouraged since the publication of the letter from the National Park Bunaken Headquarter dated March 2, 2018, which contains, “In order to improve coral cover and the quality of diving tourism activities, it is suggested that divers take an active role in planting coral in Bunaken National Park while diving. “This appeal applies to all domestic and foreign tourists.
The role of all parties is indispensable to preserve Bunaken National Park for future generations to enjoy and contribute to preserving this tourist attraction.
So much of the potential of Bunaken National Park, one of which is marine and coastal biodiversity that is able to support the life and livelihood of the surrounding community. This marine park also contributes to regional income in the natural tourism sector. Bunaken Marine Park needs to get concrete steps from all parties to make efforts to maintain and preserve it.