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World Environment Day: Bali Fishermen
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World Environment Day: Bali Fishermen

For years, fishermen in the community of Les, in Bali, used poison cyanide to stun and catch the ornamental fish that supplied their livelihood. This left the local coral reef severely bleached and damaged. So the local people developed solutions to rehabilitate the reef's ecosystem in a way that would allow them to carry on with their traditional life and fishing.

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Produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Learn more about the Global Environment Facility.

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Segment 1

TITLE
UNDP VIDEO www.undp.org/video
VOICEOVER
As dawn breaks over the Indonesian island of Bali, the local fishermen prepare for the day's work. Les Village sits close to one of Indonesia's many coral reefs that are teeming with life, including brightly colored tropical fish. Every morning Nengah Arsana ventures out to sea to make his living, catching tropical fish for aquariums. But not long ago these reefs were dying. Fishermen from Les and other villages in Bali were using potassium cyanide poison.
CIPTO AJI GUNAWAN [underwater photographer]
Back in 2000 we saw most of the reefs here are dead. Almost 70-80 percent, they are all bleached and dead and we suspect this is because of the cyanide, because these fishermen here have been using cyanide since [the] early eighties. If they continue this cyanide fishing they will lose all the reef and they obviously will lose all the fish and then it will be very difficult for them to sustain their lives.
VOICEOVER
Today, the situation is very different. The coral reef that provides a livelihood to Nengah's family and his village has come back to life. UNDP and the Global Environment Facility, in partnership with a local NGO, has changed the way the fishermen of Les catch their fish. They have switched to using nets, improving not only the quality of their catch but also ensuring the reef remains healthy.
NENGAH ARSANA [fisherman]
For the group of fishermen here, changes started in the year 2000 when a local NGO educated us about using nets. From only two fishermen, the project evolved after we saw great results, so many others followed suit, switching from cyanide to nets.
VOICEOVER
Nengah's catch is sold to buyers from all over the world. He says the fish are healthier and live longer.
NENGAH ARSANA
Fish caught with nets compared to those poisoned by cyanide obviously have better colors. Those collected by the use of cyanide lost their colors in one day. We do not have the same problem anymore. It is much better now.
VOICEOVER
Nengah's wife hopes that this new method of fishing will continue.
LUH NARIASIH
Before the use of nets we worried about the police but now my son who skin-dives for fish can earn 30,000 to 50,000 rupiah a day, while his father who uses a compressor earns much more.
VOICEOVER
The success of the Les village project has made it a model for communities around the world. In Indonesia, several other provinces have replicated the policies and practices from Les. Through this simple change of using nets, rather than potassium cyanide poison, Nengah and other fishermen have secured their livelihoods for today and into the future, as well as ensuring that the environment is sustained.
NENGAH ARSANA
My hope is for my children and grandchildren to always be able to depend on the healthy reef for their livelihood.