Mandalamekar Village, in the highlands of West Java, Indonesia, is home to 3,200 people who are mainly engaged in farming. The village recently created its own protected forest area of four sections totaling 267 acres. The forest has several significant waterfalls and is an important habitat for many kinds of birds. Several monkey species, including the lutung and the endangered Javan surili, also live there.
In 2008, the village took it upon itself to reclaim 74 acres of community land and replanted about 12,000 native tree seedlings. They plan to replant another 72 acres of degraded forest with about 15,000 seedlings in 2009. Because the forest is a critical watershed for the village, the village wants to protect it in perpetuity.
The primary need in Mandalamekar Village is a multipurpose community building for meetings, art, culture, and recreation. The community is keen to make an agreement to protect the no-take forest in exchange for this much-needed facility. Seacology will fund construction of the building. The village government, police, and civil defense force, working with a community group called Mitra Alam Muggaran, will conduct patrols and build a communication system to facilitate the patrols.