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Ten villages in Sahendaruman are ready to cooperate without coercion

The workshop "Initiatives for Biodiversity Protection and Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Sahendaruman" was the first step of the project "Protecting Mt. Sahendaruman" in the Sangihe Islands Regency. The workshop aimed to share the achievements and ongoing activities in ten villages around the Sahendaruman protected forest, as well as to introduce the plan to expand activities in 12 new assisted villages with Rainforest Trust, namely Kulur I, Karatung I, Karatung II, Pelelangeng, Sesiwung, Belengang, Bowongkali, Dagho, Menggawa II, Binala, Barangkalang, and Miulu.

Through the workshop, eleven assisted village governments said they were willing to work together and collaborate with Burung Indonesia. Following up on the results of the workshop, the village governments asked Burung Indonesia to conduct initial socialization with the entire community in each village. Until the end of December 2023, initial socialization has been carried out in ten of the 12 assisted villages attended by village officials, Majelis Tua-Tua Kampung (MTK), community empowerment institutions, representatives of religious leaders, traditional leaders, youth leaders, women leaders, and representatives of farming communities / land tenants.

The dynamic of socialization

At this socialization stage, Burung Indonesia began to introduce the program that will be implemented in the next five years. Participants who attended the socialization represented village officials and the community. There was a misunderstanding in some villages because the community hoped to get "sitting money" from the socialization activities. But after communication, they finally understood and were willing to hold socialization activities.

Each village had a diverse response to the program presented. They were very interested in the information on endemic bird species in Sahendaruman, and there was a growing awareness to protect them. Then regarding the discussion of protected forests, there are still many people who do not understand, especially regarding the boundaries. In addition, there are still people who manage land in protected forests. With this socialization, the community then questioned whether they still get permission to manage protected forests. A little explanation about social forestry can then be a solution and answer the questions of people who still want to manage protected forests.

Why is the community willing?

After socialization regarding the program to be implemented and also programs that have been implemented in the previous ten villages, the community became very enthusiastic and interested. Many things they need are expected to be realized with the program from Burung Indonesia, including permaculture activities, making organic fertilizer, and managing protected forests with social forestry schemes. The community is also willing to accept programs from Burung Indonesia because it is considered in line with the village government's desire to eradicate poaching so as to preserve nature.

From the results of the socialization, an agreement was made and signed by representatives of the community and the village government. The minutes include information related to the socialization material presented in the form of an introduction to the organization, introduction to the program, the team responsible, and a statement from the community that they have clearly understood the background of the program activities, activity plans, implementation team, and potential positive and negative impacts of the program. With this understanding, the communities in the ten villages gave approval to the Burung Indonesia team to carry out the activities and were ready to cooperate without coercion in the implementation of these activities.