University of East Anglia Gunung Halimun 1994 Java expedition

Durwyn Liley

This UEA/Biological Sciences Club (BScC) project aimed to assess the effects of human usage and population pressures on forest vegetation and bird communities around the periphery of the Gunung Halimun National Park on Java, Indonesia. Work concentrated on an area used as a research centre by the BScC since 1988. The team estimated the populations and species of birds present; conducted small and large mammal surveys; mapped and categorized the forest vegetation (forest architecture, species composition); and gathered information relating to local land use, together with the likely influences these are having on each area of the Park. Botanical data was analysed against bird density data to assess the effect of differing degrees and types of disturbance on the bird community. By considering both the ecological and human requirements of the area, the project made realistic and practical recommendations for future PHPA management of the park; and produced useful data for the Important Bird Areas programme of BirdLife Indonesia.

Project update: 23/3/97. Research focused on the perception and use of forest resources by local communities within the area surrounding Gunung Halimun National Park on Java. Ethnobotanical information was collected from Desa Cisarua, north Halimun, and Desa Citorek, west Halimun. Citorek is the seat of the Kasepuhan community. Additional baseline socioeconomic data and land use information were collected using PRA techniques. Vegetation plots were set up within the park boundaries to assess the impact of the collection of forest resources on vegetation structure. These studies showed that forest categories were only known to key Kasepuhan figures and this knowledge was dying out. The Kasepuhan land management system plays an important role in agriculture, but is eroding, and outside agencies are exerting a greater influence. However, people were generally aware of the need to protect the forest as it provides vital resources.