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#15thnBurungIndonesia: The First Facilitator of Participatory National Park Boundary Demarcation in Indonesia

In the 90’s, there was only 6% remaining forest in Sumba Island of 55% area when the Netherlands first mapped it in 1927. To the people of Sumba, the existence of forests is crucial. They are not only where activities are taking place, but also important sites for Marapu believers.

Aside from the limited ecosystem supporting the functions of natural services, like forests, Sumba is one of important areas for global biodiversity. This island is a home to a variety endemic flora and fauna such as Sumba Hornbill (Rhyticeros everetti), Red-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus dohertyi), and a subspecies of Yellow-crested Cockatoo, the Citron-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata). Considering its distinctive ecosystem and wildlife richness, Birdlife International designated Sumba as one of the 23 Endemic Bird Areas in Indonesia and 24 Key Biodiversity Area.

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One of the KBAs that have been designated by the Indonesian government as a conservation area is the Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park (MTDNP). Burung Indonesia is the first facilitator of participatory national park boundary demarcation in the country, contributing to the effort. Through the Ministerial of Forestry and Plantations Decree No. 576/Kpts-II/1998, the MTDNP was legally established on 3 August 1998.

Burung Indonesia’s contribution to biodiversity conservation in Sumba has been running since 1992, by implementing two approaches. First, encouraging the management of conservation areas through participatory boundary demarcation that generated the Village Resource Management Agreement (VRMA). The second approach is by developing the economy of the community around the area and establishing partnerships with civil society organizations.

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This approach succeeded in bringing together a number of community groups from 22 villages around the MTDNP and joined in the Forest Conservation Community Group (FCCG). This group then actively encouraged discussions on access to natural resources around the national park, and was even able to monitor the natural resources of villages and national parks from illegal logging, animal hunting, and land burning.

Burung Indonesia facilitated the members of FCCG to create VRMA documents that aimed to be brought to the village development planning meeting (musrenbangdes) and be replicated in the village—also district level--regulations. This community group then connected in the Manupeu-Tanadaru Network Forum to follow up on the completed agreement.

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The participatory national park boundary demarcation which was encouraged by Burung Indonesia succeeded in strengthening the capacity of dauntless communities in maintaining public aspirations, and played an important role in the productive and sustainable landscape management. This is reflected in the management of protected forest areas and production forests through the Community Forest (CF) scheme, which is still firmly practiced today.


The publication of this article is part of a series of publications celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Burung Indonesia. On every 15th of every month in 2017, we will publish various articles about the best achievements that Burung Indonesia has achieved during 15 years of working at the home for 1769 bird species: Indonesia.