Mandalamekar Village

February 2019

Conservation benefit: Protecting and replanting in 128 acres of rainforest for 15 years

Community benefit: Bamboo processing facility to promote sustainable income

The lush West Java forest is home to a rich array of plants of animals. There are more than 300 species of birds, including the vulnerable rhinoceros hornbill. Several monkey species also live in the region, including the endangered Javan surili. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to these arboreal primates, which are found only on the island of Java.

The village of Mandalamekar, in the West Java highlands, will protect a large chunk of forest, prohibiting logging and replanting native tree species. The proposed protected area—almost 400 acres–is a crucial watershed for the village, and community members know that their water supply depends on a healthy forest.

Seacology has a long and successful history of working with Mandalamekar. In 2009, the 3,000-member community agreed to protect 267 acres of rainforest, replanting 72 acres of it. These conservation efforts have brought results: With increased tree cover, several local springs now flow year-round, even during the dry season. The village used a Seacology grant to build a multipurpose building, which has been well maintained and is used for all kinds of community events.

The community will use a second Seacology grant to build a small facility for drying, cutting, and processing bamboo, providing sustainable income. More than ten kinds of bamboo grow wild in the region. Selling unprocessed bamboo stems brings a very low price, but with basic processing equipment, community members will turn raw bamboo into durable material suitable for making musical instruments, crafts, and traditional Javanese joglo houses.

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