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(English) Agung Mountain Landscape Reforestation Supports Social Forestry for Ecological, Economic and Cultural Integration

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Today November 23rd 2017, Conservation International (CI) Indonesia and Nissan Global confirmed the long-term partnership of “Agung Mountain Landscape Reforestation” in Bali. This reforestation program is an integral part of CI Indonesia program in Bali focusing on “Nyegara Gunung” (ridge to reef conservation) which has started with the establishment of Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network in all over Bali for the last 10 years.

Reforestation activities aim to restoring and sustaining the preservation of terrestrial ecosystems that are indispensable for the community and the preservation of coastal ecosystems in Karangasem MPA, including preserving one of the most popular tourism destination saites in Tulamben Village: USAT Liberty Wreck. Nyegara Gunung’s conservation program that derives from Balinese philosophy in preserving nature and culture, which essentially reflects the integrated model of landscape and seascape governance in Bali.

The island of Bali is surrounded by the sea, with forests area of 130,686.01 hectares (BPS, 2017). Approximately 12.5% (16,323.68 hectares) of critical land in Bali in year of 2013 (BPDASHL Unda Anyar, 2017) located in forested areas essentially needs ridge to reef approach in sustaining its nature and supporting livelihoods of the locals. The program implementation is focusing in Karangasem Regency where the landscape meets the seascape in an inseparable unison and hopes to be extended all over Bali.

Vice President CI Indonesia, Ketut Sarjana Putra said that Bali landscape reforestation is really urgent to reduce the impact of more severe sedimentation on coral reef ecosystem, Bali tourism assets, and preserve the availability of water resources in Bali. As a small island ecosystem, Bali needs a development management approach that observe the ecological connectivity of land and sea. “As an international tourism destination, Bali’s nature and culture are two important assets that need to be preserved. Through this initiative we invite private sector to invest nature restoration as tourism asset in Bali, which in the end will give added value for Bali itself. We expect this reforestation program to be a terrestrial ecosystem management approach that complements the supporting of the establishment of Bali MPA Network as the basis of marine ecosystems management,” Ketut explained.

Furthermore, he explained the concept of one island management which emphasizes on balancing the sustainability of marine and terrestrial resources as a unity that cannot be separated. In the marine conservation effort, the establishment of MPA received a complete reception from the Government by designation of 3 MPA in Jembrana, Buleleng and Karangasem Regency with total area of ​​23,429.66 hectares, whereas Nusa Penida MPA on ​​ 20,057.2 hectares area has been legitimized by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministerial Decree No. 24 of 2014.

For five decades, tourism has become one of the main economic sources in Bali province that has very high tourism potential. However, this potential is not being balanced with conducive environmental conditions. Up to this moment, waste problems, water crisis, and change of land use have become environmental complications that need to be addressed immediately for the sustainability of this island.

To overcome the complexities, CI Indonesia does the environmental conservation initiative program with the focus on reforestation through Nissan Global funding on the location of 100 hectares areas of protected forest areas and community land in Tulamben and Dukuh Village, which are quite important due to its character as water catchment area. Nissan also handed over one unit project car to support reforestation activities in Bali.

Eiichi Koito, President Director, Nissan Motor Indonesia stated, “We’ve been asking ourselves, how can we support to build a brighter future for the society we live in. “Today, we realize our commitment by supporting our new partner, Conservation International Indonesia, with our car Nissan Navara, to rejuvenate and reforest the areas of Mount Agung, which is an important source of water supply to many areas in Bali,” Koito said.

In ensuring the achievement of program objectives, the establishment of the partnership is built together with all stakeholders, including communities and farmers’ groups. “Support from all parties is very important in helping community groups to manage critical land in Dukuh village for sustainable forest,” said I Nengah Arka as Chairman of Legundi Lestari Indah Forest Farmer Group.

In addition to improving the economic community, reforestation program in the upstream areas of Dukuh and Tulamben villages also has a positive ecological impact. “Our activities will also maintain the watersheds in Dukuh and Tulamben villages that will decrease the run-offs bringing sedimentation of mud from upstream to the sea (red – MPA Tulamben),” said I Made Iwan Dewantama, Bali Program Manager, CI Indonesia.

Both CI Indonesia and Nissan Global hold the principle that successful conservation is that which improve the people’s welfare. Therefore, a holistic approach, one of which is through local culture, is an economic asset that has an important role in realizing sustainable development.

Meanwhile, Ir. Suyatno Sukandar, M.Sc., Director of Conservation Area, Directorate General of Natural Resources Conservation and Ecosystem of Ministry of Environment and Forestry expressed appreciation to the initiative of forest reforestation in Agung Mountain landscape as a life support system that needs to be conserved and managed in an environmental concept with the balance between conservation and economy.

He appreciated social forestry activities that can improve the welfare of communities living within and around forests, and also expressed his appreciation of the integrated land-based management model of CI Indonesia program in Bali. “Environmental awareness based on marine-land ecological linkage needs to be the attention of all parties in good governance.” Ir. Suyatno Sukandar also invited CI, Nissan and other private sector partners to also involve in the ecosystem reforestation of the conservation area in Indonesia to support the ecosystem restoration target, as stated in the Strategic Planning of Directorate General of Natural Resources Conservation and Ecosystem of 100,000 ha until 2019.

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