Jakarta Post

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
press enter to search

The Jakarta Post
Video Weather icon 30°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
30°C Partly Cloudy

Dry and mostly cloudy throughout the day.

  • Wed

    26℃ - 32℃

  • Thu

    25℃ - 32℃

  • Fri

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Sat

    26℃ - 30℃

Saving 'THE CORRIDOR'

  • Ika Krismantari

    The Jakarta Post

Sukabumi, West Java | Tue, May 8 2012 | 08:52 am
Saving 'THE CORRIDOR' Vast: Mount Halimun Salak National Park contains a swath of forest connecting Halimun and Mount Salak. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)" width="512" height="341">Vast: Mount Halimun Salak National Park contains a swath of forest connecting Halimun and Mount Salak. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)

In a forest not far from the capital, local residents are stepping up to help protect the earth in an initiative that may give the next generation hope for the future.

The people of Cipeuteuy village in Sukabumi, West Java, realized the weight on their shoulders was getting heavier and heavier after living side by side with a newly established national park.

Not only had they lost a source of income – for the park prohibited them from obtaining anything from that protected land – but they were also responsible for the biggest national park in Java.

A 2003 Ministerial Decree expanded what was then Halimun National Park to the Mount Salak area, changing the name to Mount Halimun Salak National Park.

Covering more than 113,000 hectares of land approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Jakarta, the park is an amalgamation of two important ecosystems at Halimun and Mount Salak, which are connected by an 11-kilometer forest corridor.   

Lending a hand: Concerned villagers formed the Corridor Communities Network to help restore the area. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)Lending a hand: Concerned villagers formed the Corridor Communities Network to help restore the area. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)

The people of Cipeuteuy live alongside that corridor, a swath of land deemed integral to the existence of the national park.

The newly appointed park head, Agus Priambodo, highlighted the importance of the forest corridor, not only to link both areas but also to ensure the sustainability of ecosystems, including endangered species, inside the protected forest.

β€œThe corridor is important to preserve the biological integrity ... to maintain the biodiversity in the area,” he said recently.

Endangered species like the silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch), Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas) and Javan Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi) found in the national park are at risk of extinction should the connection between Halimun and Salak be severed.

Those animals, Agus added, may be forced to inbreed, which would endanger their lives should they mate with their own relatives within a secluded area.

Green: The 11-kilometer forest corridor includes springs and lush forest. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)Green: The 11-kilometer forest corridor includes springs and lush forest. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)

The national park recorded only 17 Javan Hawk-Eagles in 2011, with 71 Javan leopards and 80 silvery gibbons.


However, the poor condition of the corridor has left the cash-strapped national park with the daunting task of maintaining and preserving the forest.

Before becoming part of the national forest, the corridor was a plantation area used by state-owned forestry firm Perum Perhutani, which cooperated with local residents to produce valuable crops under a profit-sharing mechanism.

The remaining land was used by local residents who planted paddy, chilies, onions and other crops to meet their daily needs.

The 2003 decree forced Perhutani to depart from the area. Before leaving, the company removed all their remaining assets, leaving deforested land with only wild shrubs remaining.

At least 1,500 out of the 4,200 hectares of land in the corridor were destroyed due to the Perhutani relocation.

Liberated: Endangered species like the silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch) live in Mount Halimun Salak National Park. (Courtesy of Mount Halimun Salak National Park)

Vast: Mount Halimun Salak National Park contains a swath of forest connecting Halimun and Mount Salak. (Courtesy of Chevron Geothermal Salak)In a forest not far from the capital, local residents are stepping up to help protect the earth in an initiative that may give the next generation hope for the future.

The people of Cipeuteuy village in Sukabumi, West Java, realized the weight on their...

TRY A DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

Join the discussions