Aceh, Indonesia's westernmost province at the northern tip of Sumatra Island, boasts the best coral reef ecosystem in the country's western region. This territory is the gate to Indonesia’s archipelago, where species from the Pacific and Indian Oceans mix. Around 571 reef fish species, 44 hard coral genus, and four sea turtle species - out of six in Indonesia – can be found in Aceh waters.


Unsustainable fishing practices are an issue in this area, in addition to lack of competence in aquatic resources management and public understanding about environmental sustainability. High number of unsustainable fishing activities is another problem that has led to dwindling carnivore fish.


Our work in Aceh is primarily to support Aceh Conservation Agency (BKSDA), particularly in wildlife species conservation. WCS-IP began working in Aceh in 2005, undertaking a coral reef survey to assess the effect of the 2004 tsunami on the coral reef ecosystem. In 2007, WCS-IP provided substantial assistance to the Government of Kota Sabang in managing Weh Island's natural resources through a collaborative effort amongst local government, Panglima Laot, and local community.

WCS-IP supports BKSDA Aceh in improving the management of the Marine Tourism Park of Banyak Islands. WCS-IP also supports the capacity building for Panglima Laot customary institution and communities in conservation area management through strengthening customary laws and preparing action plans at the level of lhok, the customary marine management areas under Panglima Laot authority.