This is a report on activities through the end of November 2008.
As the project region and partners were decided by the end of August, the first reforestation finally took place in November.
We also conducted various researches including biodiversity research and social and economic research.
Farmers Consultation and Agreement Exchange
CI and National Park staffs have conducted a series of briefings and consultation meetings with farmers prior to the project start so that they can better understand the project. Communities’ opinions on the plantation pointed during the discussions were incorporated into the project design.
Through these meetings the collaborating partners and people concerned have increased the recognition on the reforestation and built a better collaborative relationship.
An agricultural organization was formed by local communities that agreed to join the program with CI and National Park’s support, and a formal agreement was exchanged between them.
Farmers Consultation and Agreement Exchange
A 300 m2-nursery was set up inside the park near the planting areas. This nursery will be used as a transit place before seedlings are planted to the reforestation site, to allow the seedlings’adaptation to the environment. Seedlings to be planted are all native forest plants and productive tree species.
The first reforestation took place at Nagrak, Sukabumi and about 5,000 seedlings have been planted in 10 hectares. CI worked with national park staffs and the agricultural organization which has 30 members to implement the planting activities. About 10 percent of the planted seedlings did not survive and died so we replaced them with new seedlings.
To demonstrate as a good carbon absorption project in Indonesia, we are also monitoring fixed carbon amounts in this project. The ability of carbon absorption is calculated by examining the land surface of natural forest area, afforested area and the above ground biomass. This calculation method enables to estimate how much CO2 emissions will be reduced by protecting the area from deforestation and degradation.
We have calculating the area of natural forest using the satellite photo image. The total carbon absorption was estimated as 5.474 million tons if all these areas are afforested and protected.
CI has been conducting the environmental education program called “Reveal the Secrets of the Tropical Rain Forest” focusing on the importance of the national park and its endemic wildlife. Visitors can take this one-day program conducted by trained local facilitators. The program includes small group activities, games, discussions, and a guided interpretive walk in the forest. The field tour covers many aspects of tropical rain forest biodiversity and conservation, such as life in the canopy, native medicinal plants, and the ecology of the endangered species.
We built 10 new signboards on the trails as a guide of natural life and ecosystem. We will develop new education tools and train applicants among local communities to be nature interpreters or ecotourism guides.
In order to increase environmental awareness and understanding among students and communities, we conduct educational programs through mobile conservation unit. CI works closely with a local NGO called SEMAK and national park staffs to conduct the activities.
The unit uses a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that carries environmental films, a small library and various activity kits. This activity has encouraged local communities to participate in conservation programs such as reforesting some of the degraded habitat, reporting any poaching, protecting the forests from illegal uses, etc..
By the end of December, we visited two elementary schools and two communities near the project site, about 200 people in total.
Environmental education through mobile conservation unit
Biodiversity research has been conducted through collaboration with a local NGO called SEMAK and national park staffs.
At this time’s survey, we found 12 species of mammals, including Javan leopards and lesser mouse deer, using a camera trap method. We will continue the research to complete a comprehensive animal species survey in the area.
We conducted a socioeconomic survey of local communities in the Nagrak village where the project site is located. We conducted interviews on their family structure, age structure, numbers of children, work, harvest species, marketing structure, income and land ownership, etc to understand their livelihood and collected 100 answers from 25 families of each community. From the results, we learned that about 80 % of the residents are living with less than US$40/ month. They were farming mostly cassava, rice and vegetables in the land without ownership mostly within the park boundary.
Social and economic research