The rainforests of West Java are home to many endemic and endangered species: the Javan gibbon, Javan surili, Javan hawk-eagle, and Javan leopard, just to name a few. But the islands’s dense population puts their survival in peril. Today, only about five percent of the island’s original habitat remains.
The people of Puncak Baru Village have offered to protect 2,335 acres of forest near their village. No logging, farming, or hunting will be allowed.
The community, working with the Union of Agents of Community Empowerment Indonesia, will use Seacology’s help to rebuild a 2,000-meter section of its water supply system. Puncak Baru’s system is built on a hillside, and every rainy season, landslides destroy sections of the channel. The constant repairs are a financial drain on the village and make the system inefficient. Community members, who know that forest cover controls erosion and shades streams, will also plant trees along the channels. (Traditional irrigation systems in Indonesia use trenches, not pipes.)
The system provides water for drinking, cooking, and bathing, as well as for irrigating the village’s rice fields. Ensuring an adequate supply of fresh water is always a concern in Indonesia, but climatic conditions have made the situation worse. Severe drought struck last year, and then El Niño conditions delayed the rainy season and reduced overall rainfall. The resulting water shortages threaten food security and increase the risk of illness from unsafe water sources.