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Cikidang Village


Conservation benefit:Protection of 288 acres of tropical forest for 15 years

Community benefit:New kindergarten and early childhood education center; monitoring post and equipment; coffee growing materials; native tree seedlings


Date Approved: 02.2024


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

The island of Java was once largely covered with forest, where species of leopards, gibbons, monkeys, birds, and many other animals unique to the island roamed. But Java has long had the highest population density of any Indonesian island, and a growing population wanted new cropland. Huge areas of primary forest have been lost, and many plant and animal species that once flourished are in danger of extinction.

Deforestation also creates or worsens a host of other ills, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather events, increased greenhouse gases, the spread of malaria and emerging infectious diseases, and unsafe working conditions.

The key to reversing forest loss is to create protected forest areas that are managed by indigenous people. This project would do just that.

Barudua Village, which encompasses Cikidang, sits at the foot of Mount Barutunggul in West Java. Its people have a powerful tie to the forest; it is the home of their ancestors, a crucial watershed, and a source of renewable products. Most of the people hunt and grow small vegetable crops. The area’s beautiful rivers attract tourists, another source of income.

Officially, the forest near Cikidang is protected, but enforcement is spotty. Volunteers from the community have already formed groups to protect the forest and are reporting instances of tree-cutting to the forest police. They will use a Seacology grant to build a monitoring post and buy monitoring equipment, such as GPS units and walkie-talkies. They will also buy coffee plants (to cultivate outside the protected area) and native tree seedlings, to help restore the forest. They have been given official permission to plant trees on the steep slopes, to help control erosion.

Most of the grant will go to build a kindergarten and early education center. As is typical in small villages, the building will also be used for many other public functions, including community meetings and adult education.

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