Engaging Communities in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia: A Collaborative Approach to Modelling Marine Plastic Debris through Open Science and Online Visualization

Nia H. Jones, David Christie, Jonathan Demmer, Ibnu Faizal, Noah Giebink, Peng Huang, Gaynor Jones, Komali Kantamaneni, Matthew J Lewis, Munawir B. Pratama, Noir P. Purba, Peter E. Robins, Sophie L. Ward

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Abstract

Marine litter poses a complex challenge in Indonesia, necessitating a well-informed and coordinated strategy for effective mitigation. This study investigates the seasonality of plastic concentrations around Sulawesi Island in central Indonesia during the monsoon-driven wet and dry seasons. By using open data and methodologies including the HYCOM and Parcels models, we simulated the dispersal of plastic waste over three months during both the southwest and northeast monsoons. Our research extended beyond data analysis, as we actively engaged with local communities, researchers, and policymakers through a range of outreach initiatives, including the development of a web application to visualize model results. Our findings underscore the substantial influence of monsoon-driven currents on surface plastic concentrations, highlighting the seasonal variation in the risk to different regional seas. This study adds to the evidence provided by coarser resolution regional ocean modelling studies, emphasizing that seasonality is a key driver of plastic pollution within the Indonesian archipelago. Inclusive international collaboration and a community-oriented approach were integral to our project, and we recommend that future initiatives similarly engage researchers, local communities, and decision-makers in marine litter modelling results. This study will work to support in the application of model results in solutions to the marine litter problem.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Prisms: Plastics
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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