Conservation is everybody’s business, and no exception with NU. As one of the largest religious groups in Indonesia, Nahdathul Ulama (NU) through LAZISNU also take on an active important role in conservation effort by working with JALA (Fishers Community Group) in Tanjung Batu, Derawan Island, Berau Regency, East Kalimantan. They believe that a religious approach is effective in encouraging community awareness to preserve the environment. Tanjung Batu is the gateway to tourism in Derawan, Sangalaki, Kakaban and Maratua Islands, an area that is also rich in coastal and marine natural resources, especially fisheries.
JALA establishment itself in response to unsustainable fishing practices, especially by fish bombing. In the short term, fish bombing benefits fishers and without much effort, they can harvest large quantities of fish. But in the long term, this practice results in great loss. Coral reefs are destroyed and fish becomes increasingly scarce. As a result, fishers are forced to fish further.
Tourism development in the Derawan Islands can also lead to gaps if community welfare is not improved, which can lead to further unsustainable exploitation of natural wealth. Responding to these conditions, JALA which aims to improve community welfare, is piloting various alternative programs. With LAZISNU, JALA launched the Sustainable Management Zakat Funds to improve public welfare model program (MUSTAHIK) in Tanjung Batu. The program includes sustainable community empowerment and income generating activities. Moreover, the majority of Tanjung Batu people are NU members. Previously, LAZISNU also implemented a similar program in Kepulauan Seribu.