Harapan: a new model to support conservation in Indonesia
New policy, new opportunity
A terrific amount of policy and advocacy work underlies BirdLife-RSPB’s efforts to secure Harapan Rainforest for conservation. To get this far, we’ve had to influence the very framework by which forests are governed in Indonesia.
Until now, only a modest proportion of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Indonesia have had formal legal protection. Many of the richest wildlife sites have been in areas zoned by the government for private, commercial exploitation – held in so-called ‘logging concessions’.
Burung Indonesia, with the support of the BirdLife Partnership, persuaded the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry to allow private organisations to manage logging concessions in the interests of nature conservation. In June 2004, the Ministry passed a decree: 'Regulation of the Minister of Forestry on Ecosystem Restoration in Production Forest Reserves' enabling 'production forest' designated for logging to be restored and managed for conservation. This has been converted into law, effected by the Indonesian Parliament in 2007. The restoration licence has been extended for a staggering 100 years.
BirdLife leading the way
With this important new policy agreed, the way was clear for BirdLife to acquire the rights to manage Harapan Rainforest as a model for forest restoration, wildlife conservation and sustainable local development. Harapan Rainforest will be the first restoration forest of its kind in Indonesia - and possibly in the world! The legal framework we have helped to create now makes it possible for other private organisations to manage logging concessions for the good of nature, rather than for commercial profit.
We are working hard to secure the financial sustainability of Harapan Rainforest by creating an endowment fund. Once the desired target of $30 million (£15 million) is secured, the fund’s annual interest payments will be sufficient to cover the conservation management costs for the forest and sustainable livelihoods projects for local communities. BirdLife and the RSPB are in the process of seeking grants to reach the funding level required.
The outcomes from this ambitious project will hold interest and relevance for decision-makers, conservation managers and forest-dependent communities throughout Indonesia and the world.
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