A newly-established cooperation between Burung Indonesia and the Community Empowerment Service of West Manggarai has just been signed. The agreement, which is valid until December 2020, is intended to increase the synergy of both parties in order to support community development and village government in West Manggarai. The Mbeliling Landscape in West Manggarai has important values ecologically, economically and socially. The area is also important for global biodiversity.
The Mbeliling landscape itself has an area of 94,000 hectares and is located in the western part of the island of Flores, of which 73% of the area is forest. Apart from forests, the landscape is also fed by 28 rivers, making this area rich in biodiversity and other potentials. For residents who inhabit 36 villages in the area, the Mbeliling Landscape is the main support for their water source.
The source of livelihood of the surrounding population comes from agriculture and animal husbandry. The main commodities are cloves, cocoa, candlenut, cashew, mahogany, and teak. In addition to population growth, the population's economic welfare and land conversion are challenges faced by people in this region.
Mbeliling is also a habitat for five endemic birds of Flores Island. Out of 272 species, 171 inhabiting the Mbeliling area, included the Flores Hawk-Eagle and Flores Scops-owl which have Critically Endangered and Endangered statuses, respectively.
The purpose of this cooperation agreement is to increase the synergy and capacity of the parties in the implementation of the empowerment activities of village community and village government. This collaboration also aimed to encourage the initiation of regional regulations and policies, and also to create new ideas and innovations on managing natural resources in a sustainable manner at the site level.