Incorporating climate resilience principles into marine zoning in Indonesia

Rachel M. Gregg
Posted on: 2/24/2017 - Updated on: 3/02/2020

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Rachel Gregg

Project Summary

The Wakatobi National Park comprises the islands of Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko and other Tukangbesi Islands in Indonesia. The park is part of the Coral Triangle, an area well known for its high diversity of coral reef and fish species and associated fishing activity. The reefs in the park have been subject to destructive fishing practices (e.g., blast and cyanide fishing) and overfishing, in addition to threats from coastal development (e.g., sand and coral mining) and climate change.

The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund partnered with the Wakatobi National Park to revise its zoning plan to increase the area’s resilience to climate and non-climate stressors. Climate resilience principles were incorporated into the zoning plan, including the protection of critical habitat (e.g., fish breeding and spawning grounds, turtle nesting beaches) and ecological connectivity, and the representation and replication of habitat types. The revised plan includes zones for no-take, no-entry, non-extractive tourism, and traditional fishing use. To maximize the role of the zones to increase the area’s resilience to climate change, the partners used the following zoning guidelines:

  • Size of no-take zones: 13 km2 – 365 km2
  • Distance between no-take zones: 10 km – 20 km
  • 30% of coral reef habitat types (fringing, barrier, atoll, patch) are classified as no-take
  • 40% of mangrove forests are no-take
  • 20% of seagrass beds are no-take
  • 100% of the areas classified as Fish Spawning Aggregation sites, turtle nesting sites and seabird nesting sites are classified as no-take
  • Sites likely to be climate-resilient include areas that:
    • Regularly experience variable high temperatures (e.g., lagoons)
    • Experience upwelling and strong currents
    • Are shaded by coastal vegetation or cliffs
    • Have good coral recruitment
    • Mangrove and beach habitats that have room to migrate inland


Gregg, R.M. 2017. Incorporating climate resilience principles into marine zoning in Indonesia. Summary of a project of The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and Wakatobi National Park. Retrieved from CAKE:… (Last updated February 2017) 



Affiliated Organizations

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.


Habitat/Biome Type