Palembang, 30 March 2022
Mangrove ecosystems are as equally important as peatlands in terms of its large carbon stock, biodiversity and supporting of livelihoods for communities. Indonesia has about 3 million hectares of mangrove forests growing along its 95,000 km coastline, which accounts for 23 percent of all global mangrove ecosystems. In South Sumatra province, mangrove ecosystems are found along its eastern coast under two regencies, including Banyuasin regency. Banyuasin regency contains large areas of intact primary mangrove ecosystems, which are managed under the Sembilang National Park. Secondary mangrove ecosystems also exist in areas surrounding the park, under non-state forest zonation or APL (Areal Penggunaan Lain or other land uses). The mangrove ecosystems in the Sembilang National Park and surrounding areas contain high biodiversity and provide also a habitat for migratory waterbirds along Asian-Australasian Flyway.
Various programmes have been implemented by government and other stakeholders for mangrove management, however, the decrease of mangrove ecosystems is still a threat amid growing economic development in Banyuasin. Currently, the mangrove ecosystems in Banyuasin are relevant to community livelihoods, especially those in Sungsang area and its surroundings, by supporting the majority working as fishermen practising traditional fishing. Thus, it is recommended that the strategy for mangrove management in Banyuasin is empowering local communities and driving growth with focus on sustainability. The Center of International Forest Research-World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), Center of Excellence Peatland Conservation and Productivity Improvement from Sriwijaya University (CoE Place Unsri) and Watershed Forum South Sumatra (Fordas Sumsel) is undertaking a four-year Participatory Action Research (PAR) on locally accepted and sustainable business models, which will eventually allow communities to generate sustainable income from mangrove restoration and usage in five villages in Banyuasin II sub-regency, Banyuasin Regency. Along with total economic value of the mangroves and political economy studies, the research will also contribute to the local policy on the mangroves as well as national and international processes and platforms. The project is carried out from 2021 to 2025, supported by Temasek Foundation, Singapore.
The PAR seeks to deliver impact in two main areas: improved and sustained community livelihoods which will also provide health and nutrition benefits; and increased mangrove restoration in Sungsang area. Working closely with relevant agencies and the government, the results of the PAR are expected to contribute to refining existing programmes on national mangrove restoration and rehabilitation, national economy recovery (PEN), and the implementation of Green Growth strategy in South Sumatra.
In partnership with the government of Banyuasin regency, especially the Regional Development Planning, Research and Development Agency (Bappedalitbang), CIFOR-ICRAF organises a kick-off meeting for this PAR on 30 March 2022. The kick-off meeting is carried out in a hybrid setting, with key stakeholders in Banyuasin regency, Banyuasin II sub-regency and surrounding areas meeting at Aryaduta Hotel, Palembang, and some research team members and others joining online. The kick-off meeting titled “Action Research to Enhance Mangrove Restoration and Community-based Business Model in Banyuasin” will first introduce and gather critical insights to the research plan and share lessons learned of mangrove management and community development efforts in South Sumatra and beyond, as well as kick-start the participation of partners and communities on this project.
Prof Dr Herry Purnomo
Senior Scientist and Deputy Country Director, CIFOR-ICRAF
Professor, Faculty of Forestry and Environment, IPB University
Sonya Dyah Kusumadewi
Research Officer CIFOR-ICRAF