June 18, 2015
Bandarlampung, Ekuatorial – To secure protected forest area, official said that an intensive protection zone or IPZ will be built at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, on Wednesday (16/6).
The development, which is supported by Germany, covers 100,000 hectares or a third of the total park area and will cost Rp 100 billion (US$ 7.5 million).
Timbul Batubara, head of the national park, said that the initial project will be aiming on rehabilitating the species condition and replanting.
“Afterwards, we will provide awareness program for local people on the importance to protect the forest as world’s legacy,” said Batubara. “We will encourage for people’s involvement, especially those living in buffer zone to rehabilitate the forest.”
Furthermore, he said that the zone will be surrounded by ‘social fence’ not physical fence used in Africa for its national park.
“We would still want for the people [living near the forest area] to be able to make a living but still protect the forest and its biodiversity,” he said adding that for physical development will take six years, starting in 2016.
Hendrawan, director of Lampung chapter of Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), supported the project to secure the forest area. “We agreed [on the project] based on the fact that it pushes forward social aspects. Our people are not land-greed if only suitable patterns are applied, especially those which are not threatening their lives,” he said.
He said that government often uses repressive approach to protect forest areas. “People usually lost the fight if they have to go head-to-head with authorities,” he said adding the approach did work with zero percent encroachment but it failed to make people aware on the importance to protect the forest.
Batubara claimed that they had managed to press encroachment rate to zero percent from ten percent in 2013. “People were no longer built settlements in protected forest areas though we can still find coffee plantation,” he added. Eni Muslihah.