With this project, Seacology will protect another 1,600 acres of beautiful rainforest on the slopes of Mount Batukaru in Bali. This will bring the total contiguous area protected to more than 7,100 acres. Seacology has successful forest-protection projects with three other villages in the area (Banjar Bengkel, Sarinbuana, and Banjar Anyar), dating from 2006.
These communities are situated in the largest remaining tract of mountain rainforest on Bali. The forest is home to a variety of hornbills and other birds, the Balinese luwak (a kind of civet), and the rare pangolin and leaf-eating monkey.
Desa Pakraman Wongaya is a farming village of 580 families. Most villagers grow small crops of coffee, cacao, fruit and rice; a few work for the government. The village is the traditional custodian of a 1,606-acre section of intact rainforest. There is no access to this part of the forest except through the village. People in Pakraman Wongaya see the forest as their temple. They follow traditional Balinese laws called awig-awig, which forbid hunting and cutting trees there. Offenders are subject to fines, and in a worst-case scenario, expulsion from the village.
The village will use a Seacology grant to renovate its community building, which residents use for meetings and for Balinese dance and music (primarily gamelan) practices. The community also wants a place for the activities of a network of Balinese youth groups (pemuda pemudi). These activities build solidarity among youth and promote Balinese culture.