Pumlanga Village

June 2013

Conservation benefit: Protection of 2,000 hectares of traditionally owned forest

Community benefit: Community center

Pumlanga Village, in the eastern province of Halamahera Island, is composed of five sub-villages scattered throughout a forest called Tobelo Dalam. This mountain and lowland rainforest is the ancestral land of the Togutil tribespeople, who have existed there on a subsistence level for generations.

In 2004, Aketajawe and Lolobata National Parks were declared by the national government, totaling an area of 167,300 hectares (413,407 acres). These two parks mostly encompass the traditionally managed forest of the Togutil, and are also home to the endemic Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise (Semioptera wallacii).

The Togutil tribes, however, were never included in the spatial planning of the national parks. While the Togutil live a semi-nomadic life to find their daily sustenance, they have also always traditionally maintained a 2,000-hectare (4,942-acre) no-take zone in their forest. On May 16, 2013, local NGO Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Archipelago of Indonesia (AMAN) won a judicial review/lawsuit for the state’s Forestry Law to recognize indigenous forest rights, and return the management of this 2,000-hectare forest area to the indigenous Tobelo Dalam people. An ongoing threat to the Tobelo Dalam forest and to the Togutil people is a nickel-mining concession that has been granted permission by the district government to operate in an area that overlaps with Tobelo Dalam and the national parks.

Seacology is funding a community center for the Togutil tribes to help them conduct meetings, provide a place to vote, and act as an education facility, as no schools exist in the villages. In exchange for the community building, the Togutil tribes will continue to maintain their 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of traditional forest as a no-take zone and work with AMAN under the new designation as an indigenous-controlled protected area. The villages will be involved in community participatory mapping of the forest and will be encouraged to revitalize customary laws that enforce sanctions for breaking rules.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
May 2016
The building is now about 85% complete, and the community is ready to request the final part of the Seacology grant. The building is being used for meetings and as a learning center for primary...
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May 2015
Construction of the Pumlanga community center was delayed because of the difficulty of transporting materials to the location—it takes a boat trip of about seven hours, if weather conditions...
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February 2014
The building is approximately 80 percent complete, with roofing currently taking place.

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