wild files: marine life at maratua


2014 • Maratua Island

Maratua Island is situated in the Derawan Archipelago, off the coast of East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

384 square kilometers of pristine beaches and mangrove forests

Protecting Maratua Island marine biodiversity

Surrounding waters are believed to host the third-highest level of marine biodiversity in the world.

1,000+ marine species in the Derawan Archipelago

Maratua has more than 20 dive spots where a variety of species can be observed, such as:

Manta rays

manta rays

Green sea turtles icon

green sea turtles

Barracuda icon


Sharks icon


Maratua Island has a population of about

3,000 people

Most belong to the Bajo Tribes, also known as Sea Gypsies,
an ethnic group with deep knowledge of the coastal ecosystem.

However, Maratua’s biodiversity is threatened by:

  • rising temperatures
  • higher tides
  • land erosion
  • destructive fishing practices

actions taken

To protect Maratua’s biodiversity, the Maratua Ecotourism for Sustainable Small Islands program (MESSI) was formed as a collaboration between:

  • Chevron
  • the KEHATI foundation, a non-governmental organization
  • local government agencies

After rigorous consultation with stakeholders, MESSI partnered with locals to:

  • develop ecotourism plans for Maratua diving
  • raise the community’s awareness of climate change
  • implement reef rehabilitation and conservation programs for protected species like the green sea turtle


MESSI’s Maratua Eco Dive Center

  • Built in 2016 
  • Encourages the use of homestay programs managed by women
  • Additional monthly income of about $80 (or 1.2 million Indonesian rupiah) generated for the 200 homestay families in a nearby fishing village called Bohe Sellian

MESSI’s ecotourism activities have influenced residents to participate in environmental conservation and reduce pressure on natural resources.

The program also provides hospitality and management training to help elevate ecotourism standards for local businesses.

resources icon

On November 13, 2017, Chevron’s conservation work in Maratua was presented internationally at the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bonn, Germany.

our actions were consistent with our goal
to conserve biodiversity:
we strive to avoid or reduce the potential for significant impacts on sensitive species, habitats and ecosystems

Wild Files is a series on Chevron.com that spans the world to cover interesting examples of how we deliver on our commitment to environmental stewardship.

Published: September 2018