By the name of social captial: building local initiatives for community conservation areas in the remote and impoverished archipelago in Indonesia

Banggai archipelago with its main island, Peleng, is rich in biodiversity and endemism. However, geographical isolation has challenged the local knowledge and commitment needed to maintain the sustainability of the natural ecosystems including rainforests, mangroves, reefs, and seagrasses and local biodiversity included critically endangered Banggai Crow, and endangered Peleng Tarsier.

Prior to the start of this endeavor, there are no protected areas, nor conservation capacity development operating in this remote archipelago. Drawing on the project's Co-PI's decades worth of collaborative research, knowledge and learning with indigenous people and local communities, this intervention aims to further assist the capacity development of the local communities, and ultimately, local and national governments.

Indigenous people will be facilitated to further develop local conservation tools including via peer-to-peer shared learning. With evidence of success from bottom-up approaches, local and national governments’ increased support will be encouraged.

Project activities will be geared to document and support the community-based conservation initiatives, 
especially community conservation areas. The milestones will highlight the strength of local social capital that is important for conservation and sustainability. The project aims to have the following types of impact;

  • Supporting the development of protection of rainforest remnants as part of cultural heritage through collaboration with local governments (i.e., strict protection of the island’s point endemic and globally threatened species and decline of hunting). This project will strengthen the progressing approach and we aim to begin introducing legal knowledge into the equation in order to scale up the ecosystem conservation and the protection of endangered species principles.
  • Better appreciation of community conserved areas, driven mainly by the local communities, and fully supported by the local government and sustained awareness campaigns by the local communities for the local communities.
  • Strengthened policy and legal framework (e.g., through rights-based approach) to support community conservation areas.
  • Strengthened collaborations between Utrecht University, University of Indonesia, local governments and local, indigenous communities in Banggai, Indonesia.