Boats for Aceh
The epicenter of the 9.0 earthquake that generated massive tsunamis throughout Indonesia and the Indian Ocean in December 2004 was located just off the coast of Aceh, a region on the northern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia . Due to its proximity to the epicenter, Aceh’s coastal communities were devastated and hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. The loss of fishing boats and equipment has had lasting negative effects on the livelihoods of fishermen and boatbuilders throughout the region.
In response to the desperate need for supplies, Yayasan Tanimbar Mandiri (YTM), a recognized Indonesian Charitable Foundation, has developed the Boats for Aceh project under the direction of Patti Seery, an IPCA Board Member. The project will provide new but traditionally built wooden fishing boats for the boatbuilding and fishing communities affected by the tsunami, as well as training in sustainable fishing techniques. Boats for Aceh aims to supply some of the essential tools the members of the community need to reestablish their livelihoods and regain their former levels of prosperity.
The Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance is the program’s sponsoring organization and will be accepting funds on behalf of YTM. IPCA will transfer 99% of funds directly to the field where it will be used for boat-building and training. Although Boats for Aceh is not, strictly speaking, a conservation project, we at IPCA feel that the scale of the humanitarian disaster in Aceh makes it imperative for us to play some small role in helping to facilitate recovery of the region and its people.