In 2017, Borneo Nature Foundation collaborated with the University of Muhammadiyah Palangka Raya (UMP) and the University of Exeter, UK to undertake our second scientific expedition in the Education Forest (KHDTK) near the village of Mungku Baru, Central Kalimantan.
The aim of the expedition was to conduct baseline surveys to describe the forest habitat, its biodiversity and its importance for key animal species, including primates and wild cats, in order to strengthen local and international scientific capacity and support forest protection activities.
During February, BNF and UMP carried out socialisation activities to share the results of the 2017 expedition, which was led by Ibu Siti Maimunah from UMP, Dr. Frank van Veen from University of Exeter and the BNF team, to the community in Mungku Baru.
This socialisation activity began with an opening speech from Aries Antoni, Head of Mungku Baru village, who said that he welcomed the socialisation and shared his hope that events like this can open dialogue with the local community and give people a sense of belonging. He encouraged people to preserve the forest by working together with BNF and UMP.
Nityasa Namaskari (BNF Field Coordinator) presented the findings from the 2017 expedition to the local community. The people who attended this socialisation event were very surprised and amazed when they were shown camera trap footage from the forest. Based on the results of the camera traps and data collected during the research expedition, 30 mammals were found, of which 16 are protected species and 114 species of birds (23 species are listed as protected species). The communities did not expect the forests to have the extraordinary natural treasure.
Nityasa also explained that the expedition will be held again in July and August 2018, in collaboration with UMP and the University of Exeter, along with educational activities in the village schools.
BNF will continue long-term monthly research activities in the Education Forest, including our camera trap project, mapping of the landscape and training of new staff from Mungku Baru.
The Mungku Baru Education Forest is part of the Rungan Landscape, this year BNF plans to advocate for the policy of landscape management and develop alternative economic potential of the area for the local communities, document of local wisdom, participatory mapping, forest fire control and land cooperation, working closely with Yayasan Cakarawala Indonesia (YCI); a community development organisation.
As Siti Maimunah (UMP Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry as well as manager of the Education Forest) summarised after the socialisation, the community seemed very enthusiastic about the activities offered. Many ideas were created during the question and answer session and she hoped that the activities carried out so far would encourage more community members to help create a more sustainable society. (VA)
Camera trap photos
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