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#15thnBurungIndonesia*: Preserving Gorontalo Forest with Ecosystem Restoration Approach

Alfred Russell Wallace was right when said that Sulawesi had a different “face” in comparison with other large islands of Indonesia. When exploring the Indonesian Archipelago in the period of 1856-1859, Wallace was fascinated by the unique wildlife on this island which was characterized by the biodiversity of the Asian and Australian continents found nowhere on other islands, including Gorontalo’s biodiversity. Gorontalo hosts various endemic faunas such as Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo), Heck’s Macaque (Macaca hecki), Sulawesi Babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis) and Spectral Tarsier (Tarsius tarsier).

Gorontalo is located in the northern peninsula of Sulawesi and has a large forest area; stretches from Pohuwato Regency to Boalemo Regency which are interconnected in one landscape. Since 2009, Burung Indonesia in cooperation with other parties—including the Gorontalo Regional Government—have been trying to promote a sustainable landscape management model.

This model aim to strengthen the connectivity of Popayato-Paguat forests area, recover natural forest, restore and improve the ecological and economic functions of the communities around the forest through ecosystem restoration approach. Popayato-Paguat forest conservation also plays an important role in preventing floods and landslides, as well as supporting ecosystem resilience to climate change.

The Popayato-Paguat forests are water sources for four major rivers in Gorontalo namely Paguyaman, Malango, Taluditi and Wonggahulu. Due to this, the connectivity of Popayato-Paguat forest area as a whole ecosystem not only will preserve the wildlife, but also natural resources in it.

Meanwhile, using the ecosystem restoration approach, production of natural forests can be managed to restore and develop non-timber forest products and environmental services. This approach can also combine the economic, social and ecological interests because it not only serves to preserve biodiversity that is threatened with extinction, but also saves forest cover which is important as a water catchment area—a very beneficial feature for the people of Gorontalo.

Some areas of natural forests in Popayato-Paguat have been cleared. However, being situated between two conservation forests and nine protected forest blocks, which are important for biodiversity, Birdlife International has defined the area as the 228th of the Indonesian Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).

Considering the importance of the area, Burung Indonesia and partners keep encouraging the ecosystem restoration in Pohuwato and Boalemo. This program aims to recover natural forest and to restore and improve the ecological and economic functions. Through ecosystem restoration, the natural production forests can be managed both for ecosystem restoration function and development of non-timber forest production and environmental services.


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.