Period: 7 August 2004 - 26 September 2004. Country: Indonesia
(1) Integrating the Management of a National Park with that of the Surrounding Social System: Study in Tesso Nilo, Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia.
KUSUMANINGTYAS, Retno  (Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies)
Key Words: Land Utilization, National Park, Forest Products, Population Pressure, Agricultural Expansion


  • To understand the socio-economic conditions of the community surrounding the national park.
  • To find a suitable management system for the national park by integrating surrounding communities’ interests in such management.

Photo 1: Fish, a non-timber product from the
national park harvested by villagers
Photo 2:Honey, a non-timber product from
the national park harvested by villagers
Photo 3:Border between national
park and a villager's field
Nature conservation efforts are facing more and more challenges. One of the most significant comes from areas that are adjacent to and have direct interaction with nature conservation areas. Surrounding social and economic conditions have a great influence on the success or otherwise of nature conservation. Integrating protected areas and community development seems to have great potential for aiding efforts to preserve the natural eco-system.
          The fieldwork was conducted within 2 months (August-September 2004) in Tesso Nilo, Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia.
          The research site is based in villages surrounding the newly declared Tesso Nilo National Park (declared in 2004). Activities identified in the adjacent areas are logging, timber plantations, oil palm plantations, and settlements. The focus of the study site is Lubuk Kembang Bunga and Air Hitam Villages. Lubuk Kembang Bunga Village, with 521 households, is on the north-east border of Tesso Nilo National Park. The main occupation is logging (316 households/60.7%); the rest practice trading and agriculture, and provide labor for timber plantations. Air Hitam Village, with 286 households, is located on the eastern border of Tesso Nilo National Park. Characteristic occupations in the second village are relatively similar to those of Lubuk Kembang Bunga Village. However, the second village is more ethnically diverse. The majority in the first village consists of the indigenous people of Petalangan while in the second village there are many migrants from Java and West Sumatra.
          Population pressures on the national park that were identified in the research site are mostly related to illegal logging, poaching and the expansion of agriculture. Except for oil palm plantations, agriculture in the research site currently contributes only a small amount to local people’s livelihoods. Most of the villages are heavily dependent on logging.
           Forest conversion activities are practiced mainly to establish oil palm plantations. Some other promising sources of income were observed in the research site, such as the collection and crafting of rattan, natural honey production and fishing. The collection of rattan and the making of rattan mats can generate an average income of US$125 monthly. Natural honey harvesting can be conducted 2-3 times in a year, but, at present, honey production fluctuates according to the season. Nevertheless, these activities do provide more opportunities for an integrated approach to the management of the national park.

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