Forest, Sea, and Village: AlTo's Conservation Awareness Campaign for Sea Turtles and Wild Nature in Indonesia

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo)
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement
The Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (“AlTo”) is dedicated to conserving the unparalleled natural heritage of the lands and waters surrounding Mt. Tompotika, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Effective, innovative, and efficient, AlTo protects endangered species, tropical rainforests, and coral reefs while promoting the dignity and self-sufficiency of local communities in a changing world. In Tompotika and beyond, AlTo believes that the quality of our human lives is bound up to the health of our natural environment.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
The Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (“AlTo”) is a non-profit international grassroots partnership dedicated to conserving the unparalleled natural heritage of the area surrounding Mt. Tompotika, Sulawesi, Indonesia—one of the world’s most critical centers for global conservation. Against such urgent and widespread threats as tropical deforestation, destruction of coral reefs, and poaching of endangered species, there is a tremendous need in Tompotika to educate local residents on the global irreplaceability of their environment, and how and why they can help to conserve it. AlTo trains local Tompotikan staff and uses Adobe products (Illustrator, PhotoShop, and InDesign) to produce outreach materials which are used to educate schoolchildren and villagers about environmental protection. Using these outreach materials produced in Indonesian, the newly-trained and equipped AlTo staff have brought a compelling interactive presentation to over 3000 children and adults who have never before in their lives heard about how intact rainforests keep the earth’s climate stable and air and water clean, or how sea turtles face extinction due to poaching. After the presentations, the Adobe-based outreach materials, including notebooks, brochures, coloring sheets, and posters (all printed on 100% pcw recycled paper), are distributed free of charge, and are highly valued for their beauty and educational value in this impoverished region. AlTo’s Conservation Awareness Campaign, though barely a year old, is extremely popular with Tompotika villagers, teachers, and students, and Tompotikans are gaining a new pride in and knowledge of their natural heritage. Moreover, these efforts have already resulted in tangible conservation gains. For example, last November, villagers who had previously participated in AlTo’s Conservation Awareness Campaign noticed human activity on an uninhabited island just offshore. Before AlTo’s conservation work with these villagers, they had routinely poached turtle meat and eggs whenever they could find them. Now, however, with AlTo’s Awareness Campaign and their new-found concern for turtle conservation, they took canoes to the island to find out what was going on. On the island, they found a man who had captured 26 live green turtles and was preparing to butcher them for market. The villagers protested, informing the man that sea turtles are protected, and citing the Indonesian law as printed at the bottom of AlTo’s sea turtle poster. The man ignored them, noting that he had done this all his life. But the villagers were undaunted. When the man refused to cooperate, they returned to the mainland and sent a messenger on a motorbike three villages away to find a policeman. The policeman also shrugged off news of the turtle caputre, noting that he too likes to eat turtle. But the villagers again cited the law on the poster, which several of them have displayed in their huts, and demanded that the policeman accompany them to the island and enforce the law. Unable to refuse, the policeman did indeed join them, apprehended the poacher, and the turtles were released. The villagers returned to their village triumphant in their new-found role as turtle protectors—and all this was due to AlTo’s Awareness campaign and the Adobe posters!
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo