Sano Nggoang, located on the southwest coast of Flores Island, is one of 27 villages located around the 63,738-acre Mbeliling Forest. This “protected” forest was established under Dutch rule and expanded by the Indonesian government in 1991. It consists of two types of tropical rainforest ecosystems and is rich in limited-range bird life and endemic bird species. It serves as a critical watershed area for nearly 33,000 people in the area.
The village has committed to conserving an existing 939 acres of Mbeliling Forest and creating a new 74-acre community forest as a no-take zone for at least 10 years. Local NGO Burung Indonesia has worked with all 27 villages around the forest to draft a Nature Protection agreement, in the local dialect, that sets out rules and sanctions of the protected forest. Seacology partnered with Burung on two other successful projects around the Mbeliling Forest, at Cunca Lolos and Benteng Dewa Villages.
In return, Seacology is funding construction of a community health clinic. Malaria is common, but Sano Nggoang Village has virtually no medical care. A decrepit building serves as a clinic. The medic assigned to the area visits Sano Nggoang about once a month because of the lack of facilities there. The closest clinic is a two- to three-hour drive away on very bad roads, and public transportation is available only twice a week.