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Environmental Management in Gunung Mutis: A Case Study from Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Lentz, Christian; Mallo, Marthen; Bowe, Michele
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/190
Sector: Forestry
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
forest management
protected areas
community development
mountain regions
multiple use
participatory management
Abstract: "The island of Timor covers an area of 28,000 square kilometers and is the largest of the many islands located in the eastern Indonesian archipelago of Nusa Tenggara. Cultural traditions are diverse and strong among the populace of Nusa Tenggara, the majority of whom find livelihood sources in agriculture and raising livestock. Infrastructure such as roads and electricity are available to only a small portion of the population and their access to health care, education, and other services are very limited. "Although scarce and fragmented, Nusa Tenggara's forests are important at the local, regional, and international levels. At a local level, communities use forest areas as grazing lands for livestock as well as a source of income supplements, building materials, and fuelwood. Given Nusa Tenggara's arid climate, forested areas play a critical regional role as well as water catchment areas, especially given their location in the steep, mountainous interior. The unique ecology of forested areas and their high levels of species endemism and biodiversity lend international importance to their conservation. The government of Indonesia has declared several of these international important areas as National Parks and Nature Reserves. "The focus of this case study is the conservation management and community participation in the Mt. Mutis Nature Reserve (Mutis) in West Timor. Mutis is one of a number of forest and conservation areas involved in a regional review of land use and forest management by the NTCDC. The Nusa Tenggara Community Development Consortium (NTCDC) is a network of government agencies, NGO's, universities, and community groups who collaborate on common issues in community development. The Conservation Working Group of the NTCDC has been active in the field of community based natural resource management and their activities include participatory research and mapping, awareness raising, and biodiversity conservation. "The 12,000 hectares of the Mt. Mutis Nature Reserve include unique montane forest dominated by homogenous stands of Eucalyptus urophylla. The forested slopes of Mutis are a critical watershed for the island of Timor and play a strong role in the culture and economy of fourteen villages located in and around the reserve. In cooperation with the Conservation Working Group, World Wide Fund for Nature, Nusa Tenggara (WWF) has been active in Mutis and neighboring communities through livestock censuses, settlement studies, and participatory mapping. Several issues have problematized effective management of the reserve, especially the high-density of free ranging cattle within the forest, lack of clarity over reserve boundaries, and confusion over reserve classification. WWF is planning a collaborative research effort with the NTCDC affiliated Natural Resources Management Research Team (Koppseda) in order to assess the importance of cattle to communities and to measure their impact on forest regeneration."

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