Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan

Geographical location:

Asia/Pacific > Southeast Asia > Indonesia > Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) > East Kalimantan (K. Timur) > Kayan Mentarang National Park

Summary

The project's main objective is to prepare a management plan and a 3-5 year operation plan for the park. This work involves research and information gathering on topics such as conservation biology, economic development plans and options, social and cultural systems, and traditional land use patterns.

Other important components are awareness and education activities to build support for the park, as well as the development of a participatory management system that involves the critical stakeholders, particularly the approximately 10,000 indigenous Dayaks that live in or near the national park.

Background

The Kayan Mentarang Nature Reserve contains the largest unbroken stretch of protected rainforest in Borneo, and is an important refuge for numerous species, particularly rare and endemic ones. About 70% of the reserve lies below 1,000 m and contains areas of species-rich lowland dipterocarp forest.

An estimated 12,000 people live within the reserve, and an additional 13,000 inhabit the reserve's buffer zones. Populations within the reserve boundaries, and to the south, have decreased following emigration from the border region of east Kalimantan to the lowlands. Expansion of shifting cultivation into primary forest located well inside the reserve is not therefore a problem. It is encroachment by loggers and commercial farmers in the lowlands on the eastern side of the reserve that is likely to be a threat, particularly to the richest areas of lowland dipterocarp forest.

Some logging has already occurred within the reserve boundaries. Prevention, or stabilization, of these activities, will have to be addressed as part of the management plan.

Objectives

1. Redefine and secure the boundaries of the reserve complex, with revisions in protected area status as appropriate, with the ultimate objective of converting it into a national park. This will legalize a zonation and nature protection system that will accommodate the traditional land tenure and resource-use patterns of the tribal people who have lived in and around the reserve area for millennia.

2. Secure broad support for conservation from local communities, provincial government, and local non-governmental organizations.

3. Resolve land-use conflicts between the reserve and commercial operations, such as logging and plantation agriculture.

4. Complete a database on the reserve area for use as a planning and management tool, including relevant information on species distributions, land tenure and resource-use patterns of local inhabitants, and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping.

5. Prepare a management plan and implement interim conservation activities.

Solution

This project is the first major effort to conserve the Kayan Mentarang reserve, one of Indonesia's largest, and biologically richest protected areas. The reserve, and its proposed extensions, covers over 2 million ha along east Kalimantan's border with Sarawak and Sabah. Revised boundaries of the reserve, and a management plan, are being drawn up, in consultation with, and the cooperation of, the people living in the reserve and its buffer zones. Buffer zone development will focus on economic activities and products that reduce pressure on endangered plant and animal populations.

Achievement

- The conservation status as a national park, to replace the previous status of a nature reserve, for Kayan Mentarang (1,360,500 ha) was formally announced by the Ministry of Forestry in 1996 - although no Park Management Unit is assigned yet up until 2005.

- The required work for preparation of a 25-year Park Management Plan (zonation, scientific expeditions and researches) is completed; WWF introduced and facilitated negotiations on the roles of the indigenous community groups in the management of the park .

- The government formally (in a Ministerial Decree) adopted the Park Management Plan in 2002, with another accompanying decree on the representation of local communities in the (supervisory) management structure of Kayan Mentarang National Park (KMNP).

Currently, WWF is continuing the work on completing the related surveys (biodiversity monitoring, preparation for the 5-year spatial planning, aerial surveys for alternatives related to the ongoing development plans by the local governments, boundary zonation, community mapping). Work is also focused on community empowerment through the FOMMA - the forum of 10 customary groups whose lands are within the park boundaries, and facilitating negotiations towards ensuring implementation of collaborative and community based management in the KMNP.

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