Central Sumba Landscape (CSL) is a very important area for the development and sustainability of ecosystems in Sumba Island. Burung Indonesia is implementing the “Green Prosperity” project, which is supported by Millenium Challenge Account Indonesia (MCA-Indonesia), to 95.000 people in 79 villages throughout the landscape. The aim is to improve the awareness of the communities on the importance of nature service and Sumba’s biodiversity.
The activity involved the residents of Green Sumba Consortium’s assisted villages, which mostly participated in awareness on nature conservation, management of productive and sustainable nature resources perspectives. Of all involved villages, 31 of them were situated bordering the Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park.
Prior to the program, a survey of knowledge, attitude, and practice was conducted. It was revealed that the majority of the communities in the CSL are aware that Sumba Island is the only home for the critically endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata). However, the existence of other Sumba’s endemic birds in their surroundings, including parrots with limited distribution, was unknown to most of them.
To increase and strengthen the communities’ knowledge on Sumba Island’s bird diversity, information banners were circulated in public areas and information boards were installed in a number areas in East Sumba, Central Sumba and West Sumba, so that local people would protect the diversity and sustainability of Sumba’s endemic birds. They were also encouraged to use renewable energy so that environmental sustainability can be maintained.
As bioindicator, Sumba’s critically endangered and endemic birds will be monitored during the implementation of the project. Since they are depending on natural forest for their habitats, the bird survey will be conducted to update data and for future’s reference on Sumba’s ecosystem condition.
Out of 240 bird species hosted by Sumba Island, 11 of them are endemic, most inhabiting Lesser Sunda Islands. BirdLife International in cooperation with Burung Indonesia have identified 38 Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) and 225 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) throughout Indonesia. In total, there are six IBAs in Sumba, namely Yawila, Poronumbu, Manupeu Tanah Daru, Laiwangi Wanggameti, Tanjung Ngunju, and Leku Melolo.
Burung Indonesia has conducted awareness actions on Sumba Island’s biodiversity on various activities and medium, such as campaign for the protection of the Yellow-crested Cockatoo in villages around the national park area, production of local content books for elementary school students, and dissemination of awareness materials (roll banners and billboards). These efforts have resulted in a decrease in the number of catching cases of Yellow-crested Cockatoo in the last 10 years.