Environment & Development Program

Projet MERCI | Mangrove Ecosystem and Javan Rhinoceros Conservation in Indonesia

Contribute to the restoration of local coastal forest ecosystems and the conservation of their fauna (with particular emphasis on the Java rhino) in Ujung Kulon National Park and its outskirts. 

Projet MERCI | Mangrove Ecosystem and Javan Rhinoceros Conservation in Indonesia

Context

The western tip of the island of Java in Indonesia is home of the Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP) which faces high risks of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis as was noticeably the case in 2018. This vulnerability to natural disasters is increased by density and human activity. 

The mangrove ecosystem once largely covered the local coastline and rivers of the park and its periphery. However, the mangroves have suffered massive degradation due to the conversion of land into habitats, the development of infrastructure and the establishment of industries such as tourism and fishing. 

 

These pressures have reduced the fishery resources sheltered by forests and available in the region, now threatening the livelihoods of local communities who move around the park to sustain their activity. Inside the latter, part of the habitat of the Java rhino has disappeared, leading into the decline of this iconic animal. This has prompted the IUCN to declare this species critically endangered. The latest census indicates that only 74 Java rhino individuals remain (with 2 babies born in September 2020!) among this only known wild population, making it possibly the most critically endangered large mammal on the planet 

Goal

Contribute to the restoration of the local coastal forest ecosystems and the conservation of their fauna (with particular emphasis on the Java rhino) in Ujung Kulon National Park and its outskirts.

Activities

The project focuses on three main areas: raising awareness for the conservation of the mangroves and the Java rhino, the restoration of coastal and mangrove ecosystems and the development of sustainable community livelihoods. 

 

Environnement Planète UrgenceRestoration of ecosystems : the loss of forests, habitat of many species, is one of the 5 major causes of biodiversity loss. The planting of 250,000 mangroves and other coastal species in the park will act directly on the living surface of the species and increase the resilience of communities in the periphery from and ecological and economical point of view.    

 

Développement économique Planète UrgenceEconomic development : identifying potential income-generating activities will be at the heart of scaling up the project. In this pilot phase a first silvo-fishery, via the fattening of crabs, will allow to promote crab culture in mangroves, a natural environment favourable to their growth, and then sell them at a higher price locally. 

 

Sensibilisation à l'environnement Planète UrgenceAwareness : the project aims to sensitize 550 students through campaigns in 11 schools and work with teachers and the District Education Agency to integrate key messages on the conservation of mangroves and its biodiversity into school curricula. International Mangrove Day will be celebrated with more than 500 community members, local authorities as well as the press. . 

Expected impact

Ecologically healthy coastal ecosystems will function as natural defences for humans and wildlife living on the continent. 

 

  • In this regard, mangrove restoration can play an immediate and critical role in terms of disaster risk reduction, ecosystem protection, preservation of Java rhino habitat and subsequent resilience of local communities living in the region of West Java. The restoration and enhancement of mangroves and their ecosystem services would increase fishery resources of high economic value for the local community living in the region. This would then reduce human disturbance to nearby Ujung Kulon National Park and its protected wildlife. 

 

  • Increasing mangrove forest cover and its ecosystem services will be essential not only for adaptation but also for climate change mitigation, as these natural wells store up to 5 times more carbon than upland forests. 

 

  • In subsequent phases beyond the duration of these project and based on its successes and lessons learned, mangrove restoration could be intensified by expanding tree planting in the centre of the park, in its buffer zones and in other coastal areas along the west coast of Java to increase the resilience of communities living near many degraded natural areas. 

 

On the one hand, project activities will raise awareness among local community members concerning the conservation of the Java rhino and the sustainable management of coastal areas and its natural resources. On the other hand, capacity building initiatives will seek to enable community members to generate alternative income activities and increased added value from products generated by the mangrove ecosystem and its expansion into the market. 

Photos

 

Institutional, technical and financial partners

Implementation partner: the local association ALABAMA 

ODD


The MERCI project contributes, at its scale, to the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) :

Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence

Summary of the project

Indonésie, Province de Banten, District de Pandeglang (Parc National d’Ujung Kulon et sa périphérie), Ile de Java
Start of the project : March 2020
250000 trees planted
1098 direct beneficiaries
1717 indirect beneficiaries
ODD

The MERCI project contributes, at its scale, to the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) :

Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence Objectif de Développement Durable Planète Urgence