IIAS Newsletter 46 Winter 2008

People, park and partnership. Problems and possible solutions in the Morowali Nature Reserve

Jabar Lahadji

Indonesia’s diverse ecosystems contain some 500 species of mammal and 12 percent of the world’s bird species. But Indonesia’s tropical rainforest, which originally covered more than a million square kilometres, is being lost at a rate of 10,000 square kilometres each year, and many species are on the verge of extinction. Morowali is a nature reserve of 2,250 square kilometres in Central Sulawesi. It is home to a number of rare endemic birds, including the the maleo, and mammals, including the anoa and babirusa. The Morowali forest is also the home of the To Wana, one of the several indigenous peoples in Central Sulawesi. Around 3,000 Wana live within the reserve, and approximately another 3,000 in villages just outside its boundary. The To Wana traditional culture and economy depend on swidden agriculture (shifting agriculture, or ‘slash and burn’), hunting, and the collection of forest products, particularly damar (conifer resin).

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