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Banjar Bengkel


Conservation benefit: 1,606 acres of “no-take” rainforest in perpetuity

Community benefit: Community building

Date Approved: 02.2014


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

Banjar Bengkel is a small farming village, 2,200 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Batukaru in Bali. The majority of its 128 families grow small-scale crops such as coffee, cacao, fruit, and rice. Traditionally, the people of Banjar Bengkel are the de facto custodians of a 650-hectare (1,606-acre) section of intact rainforest above their village. The village’s forest is part of the largest remaining tract of mountain rainforest on Bali. It is home to a variety of birds, the increasingly rare pangolin (a kind of anteater, covered in scales), and leaf-eating monkey. The village endorses traditional Balinese laws called Awig-awig, which forbid activities such as hunting and cutting trees in the forest. Punishment is a fine, or in a worst-case scenario, expulsion from the village.

Two other nearby villages have already received Seacology grants in return for protecting their forests. In Banjar Anyar, Seacology funded construction of a community center, in exchange for the village’s promise to protect 1,977 acres of rainforest in perpetuity. Next to Banjar Anyar is the village of Sarinbuana. There, Seacology funded a library/music/dance building, instruments, and equipment in exchange for village endorsement of a 1,975-acre no-take rainforest reserve in perpetuity. Together, the three villages together control 5,560 contiguous acres (2,250 hectares) of rainforest on Mount Batukaru.

Seacology is providing Banjar Bengkel with funding for a community building. Community members will use it for meetings, Balinese dance, music practices, and youth activities. In exchange, the village has committed to protect 1,606 acres of rainforest in perpetuity.

Project Updates

January 2016

The third and final floor of the building has been finished. Final touches, including statues, paint, and tiles, will be added when the community receives promised funding from the government. The community is actively protecting the conservation area, and Field Representative Iona Soulsby reports that nearby villages are also interested in protecting their parts of the forest.

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May 2015

Construction of the building continues, and another story has been added. The community is actively protecting the conservation area.

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January 2015

Work on the new community building is well underway.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Wooden Ships.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation.