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Indonesia

Umbu Langang

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Conservation benefit: Support of the protection of 7,414 acres of rainforest and savannah for a minimum of 10 years

Community benefit: Freshwater system

Date Approved: 06.2008

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Sumba Island is one of a chain of islands in the Lesser Sundas, a dry region of Eastern Indonesia. The island’s forests have degraded alarmingly in the last century. In 1927, forest covered half of the island, but by 2002 only seven percent was forested. Today, only five fragments of forest are greater than 6,178 acres each, and all of them are located in Manupeu Tanadaru National Park. This forest contains thick stands of rare sandalwood. The island lies in the Wallacea bioregion where Australian and Asian fauna overlap, and is home to eight endemic bird species. It is the last remaining habitat for a number of endemic frog, butterfly, and reptile species.

A number of villages border the national park, including Umbu Langang, a farming village of approximately 750 people. In 2003, the villagers agreed not to expand their farms into the national park. They are also willing to protect approximately 5,931 acres of forest and 1,483 acres of mixed savannah as a no-take area for at least ten years.

In exchange, Seacology will fund a fresh water system. It is critically needed; in the dry season, the nearest freshwater source is more than a mile from the village.

Project Updates

December 2011

Pak Amos, the project leader from the fresh water project in Umbu Langang Village, reports that the system is in good condition, and adds that the community of Umbu Langang has been greatly helped by the availability of clean water. There has been some pipe damage due to cattle trampling the pipes, but this has since been fixed by the community in August 2011. Livestock owners have also been approached about this issue, as they were not aware of the problem, but have since promised to find another route for the passage of their livestock. The living kitchen focuses on just growing two kinds of cabbage now due to the limitation of excess water available. These crops have been successfully harvested and continue to grow. The condition of the protected area up until this report remains in good condition. There is no report of burning of fields, logging or capture of animals. Public awareness has been awakened and is supported by the National Park Authority staff of Manupeu Tanadaru.

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January 2011

The water pipes in the village of Umbu Langang are still in good condition and clean water flows smoothly. Rainfall in the last wet season caused flooding in some streams, which were thick with mud. The existence of the water system allowed them to maintain a constant supply of clean water without having to rely on the river as in the past. The community, especially village officials, meets regularly to discuss various development activities in the village, including the maintenance of the Seacology-supported fresh water system. The pipes are monitored on a weekly basis. For the Living Kitchen project, the village is still getting seeds from Seacology funds, especially for turmeric and green beans. Other types of produce such as tomatoes, chilis, spinach, eggplants and shallots are consumed by the families who grow them and excess is sold to supplement family income. However, green beans, cabbage and string beans have had difficulty because of lack of available seed in the market and high rainfall since June 2010. The protected forest is safe so far; neither shooting of wildlife nor destruction of plants has been reported. Moreover, no more burnings have taken place to clear land for farms as was the case in the past. The villagers understand the importance of the forest and wildlife, and cooperation between the villagers, village government and the staff of the National Park is quite intense and running well.

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June 2010

Field representative Arnaz Mehta reports that there are 100 women involved in the “living kitchen” program who are farming small plots of land around their homes adjacent to the fresh water pipes. A quarter of these women are already into their second plantings with new seeds obtained from vegetable sales from their first harvest. The vegetables that have grown well are cauliflower, water spinach, tomatoes and chilies. Additionally, routine patrols are being conducted with the rangers from Manupeu-Tandaru National Park. From the period between mid- 2009 to May 2010 there was one case of someone trapping monkeys, but this conflict has been resolved within the village by members who support the work of the park rangers.

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August 2009

The project was completed and with extra funds remaining Seacology approved a village proposal for a “living kitchen” to grow vegetables.

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June 2009

As of May 2009, five water tanks were built and over 2,400 meters of pipe installed. Seventeen water stations (t-pipes) were erected throughout the village, as well as an additional one in Haronja village, and are now in use by a total of 110 households. Protection efforts of the flora and the fauna of the Manupeu Tanadaru National Park region have been going well.

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January 2009

The project began in September 2008 and is scheduled to run for about six months.

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