By : Saras Syifa Mashadi – Coral Reef Ambassador from Bogor Raya Senior High School

Corals don’t come easy. They require a list of suitable condition to grow and mature properly, they are kind of a diva. The only grow in salt water with minimal temperature change. Corals has a symbiosis nature to zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae are algaes which will photosynthesize and share its goods with the coral.

These creatures exist within coastlines in tropical countries. They make up an ecosystem consisting of little fishes and crustaceans. It is one of the most important ecosystems because the fishes will then grow up to be consumed by others such as ourselves. Indonesia is home to most of the corals in the world. But, we take it for granted.

Other countries that are fortunate enough to have a very tiny part of their beach home to corals are very protective and they try so hard to preserve it. People in Indonesia do not care about corals. The natives are unaware of their hazardous actions. Daily activities around corals are already destructive.

Fishermen bomb the sea. It is not only bad for the fishes, but also to the corals which are homes to these fishes and the fishes to come. Other method of fishing aren’t that friendly either, neither is the style of tourism that these natives has organized and presented to the rest of the population. They also choose to let people to step and touch corals during snorkeling sessions.

The conditions of corals in 1000 islands are really sad. They are mostly dead and at a very poor condition. This is really heartbreaking considering the importance of corals and the fact that we should be honored we are able to be a host to so many corals. These conditions are present because humans are close to them. We have made it seem like everything we touch will turn to dust.

However, things are turning around. According to reports, Indonesia has been recovering thanks to TERANGI Foundation and other organizations. We have improved the 10% of healthy corals into around 50% today. Though around 30% is in great condition and the remaining 30% is in “okay” condition. There are still around 30% in concerning state.

As the youth of Indonesia, I hope that we can make it into a glimmering 100% healthy corals along our coastlines. It’s great that we are recovering from a downfall. I hope that Indonesia can continue to grow and protect all of its priceless natural resources. That is the condition of corals in Indonesia today.

Other organizations are also protecting these corals are Indonesia Global Compact, Ujung Kulon Conservation Society, Matoa and the PPM School of Management with the program one million corals and coral reef ambassador competition. It is and honor to be a part of something that is believed to save what can be shown as a part of our, and the earth’s legacy for generations to come.

Being a part of the coral ambassador we have tried growing the corals along the shoreline, similar to what other organizations are doing. Only, we are letting the children do it themselves. A hand on experience proves to be the best way to learn. Getting physical with these corals through activities such as snorkeling and learning those corals by examining them would make people care and empathize more.

Let’s say that the corals in Indonesia was sick, they were on the verge of dying. Humans were the disease that corals had caught; we destroyed most of the corals. But now the humans have changed, what was once the virus is now the immune system. We are all fighting for one thing, coral recovery. We wish that some of us, who are still playing the role of viruses, can be aware that they are killing the corals and would act as a savior instead.

People working alone will cause damages and repair, but over a long period of time. We must act in groups. In big groups as people with big hearts to repair these priceless pearls that the world has provided us with. Can you imagine if we were to live somewhere where there are no fishes to eat or see? I can’t, so I’m fighting as a person who will save the coral reefs of the Indonesia today.

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