Tinabo waste management coaching clinic

Looking at waste management through a business lens

The CCRES Business Development team has been spreading the word among coastal communities on Selayar about how to use business solutions to address the critical issue of ocean plastics. Ocean plastics can have significant impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, as well as human health.

Dr Anna (Anya) Phelan from The University of Queensland and Pak Firman Tri Ajie from Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI - Indonesian Institute of Sciences) ran a coaching clinic on this critical issue as part of the Taka Bonerate Jambore in Selayar in April. They delivered the session on Pulau Tinabo (Tinabo Island) during the event which was attended by approximately 150 people, including local residents from neighbouring islands, divers and tour operators from Selayar and other parts of Indonesia, and a handful of international visitors.

The presentation gave attendees a broad understanding of plastic’s origins and its impacts on marine animals and people’s health – both at the global scale and local scales.

“Our presentation, which also included short videos, was intended to provide an overview, and to inform the community on the issue of ocean plastic, and to empower them through specific examples and simple strategies,” Anna said.

“We talked about some of the impacts of ocean plastics, as well as the issues caused by uncollected, unmanaged land-based plastics. We looked at new technologies and various solutions globally as well as locally. And then we talked about the opportunities to address the issues in the three components of waste management: collection, conversion and mitigation.”

Anna shared an adaptable community-scale waste management plan template to help participants think about how they can create positive change.

“We covered how to develop a collaborative waste management plan at a community level, and what’s required in terms of decisions on partnerships, technologies, budget and leadership roles to address the collection, conversion and mitigation components. We also talked about how waste can be used to support sustainable livelihoods.”

Anna and Firman also discussed potential pathways towards enterprise-based approaches for waste management as well as opportunities through private sector sponsorships.

“Private sector partnerships are potential pathways for communities to obtain appropriate technologies to repurpose waste, such as shredder and extruder machines or the more sophisticated larger-scale waste-to-fuel or waste-to-energy technologies ones,” she said.

The Taka Bonerate Jamboree is an event organised by the Balai Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate (National Park Service) and the Dinas Kapariwisataan Kab. Kapulauan Selayar (Department of Tourism Selayar Island). It combines education and training sessions, including a local talent show, beach clean ups, diving and other activities to celebrate different initiatives happening at the national park.

The following day the team travelled to nearby Rajuni Island for a community discussion on waste management, where they presented to a group of approximately 80 people, including many island residents and children.

“We had some really interesting discussions with community members on Rajuni Island,” Anna said.

“It was clear that many are concerned about the issue and are interested in taking a proactive approach.”

“Many community members were very interested in opportunities that go beyond the ‘garbage bank’ approach and simply selling to collectors.”

For more information, contact Dr Anna Phelan