Park in Crisis: Local Governance and National Policy

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From Introduction: "The case of the Kutai National Park is a clear example. Already partly degraded by the fires of 1997-1998, by illegal logging, hunting and large scale encroachment by migrants, the park is in critical condition. Some 23,000 hectares is being proposed by the local government to be excised from the park and become part of district territory. At stake is the future of the park and its high value biodiversity such as the orang utan, proboscis monkey and several increasingly rare timber species set against the livelihoods of local people and a rich deposit of high quality coal. "Is there hope for the park? Will excising 23,712 hectare save the remaining 174,917 hectares? This is a question being studied by a task team mandated to facilitate a solution. The task team has to find a balance in a situation rife with conflicting interests: land and resource use; conservation and development; ethnic competition between Bugis migrants and indigenous Dayaks and Kutai; and local politicians making use of the case for election purposes, between the national government in name of conservation of public goods and the local government which translates responsibility for development into extraction of resources by the highest bidder. "Set against this background, the paper will discuss the different understandings of conservation, the exclusive status of protected areas, and the role of the different stakeholders. The paper will finish with some suggestions for a more inclusive and participatory conservation and park management."



parks, protected areas, land tenure and use, natural resources, resource management, IASC