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Project December 21, 2020

Collaborative Ecosystem Restoration on Sulawesi Island


Image by Franco Bravo Dengo.
Image by Franco Bravo Dengo.

Bogani Nani Wartabone (TNBNW) is the largest national park on Sulawesi Island. Since its establishment in 1991, TNBNW has experienced several phases of forest area degradation: among them deforestation caused by government policies and community use of the land inside the TNBNW forest area.

Several years ago, the national park management authority Balai TNBNW — supported by conservation agency Enhancing the Protected Area System in Sulawesi (E-PASS) for Biodiversity Conservation — has taken a new approach with the community, through the Collaborative Ecosystem Restoration Program, which aims to balance forest sustainability and community welfare.

The community becomes the subject of forest regeneration works in restoring the ecosystem. The community would also benefit from the development of an alternative economy from the program, with its emphasis on ecotourism and utilizing non-timber forest products. At first, the community was hesitant, but eventually residents became actively involved in the conservation activities. Many of those involved in conservation used to be hunters, miners, and illegal loggers.

This project discusses the process of forest area degradation in TNBNW and how current efforts aim to make TNBNW a home for biodiversity and the humans around it. It also tells stories about residents and the TNBNW management who strongly refused and then became actively involved in the forest regeneration activities.