Attitudes of Local People towards Conservation and Gunung Halimun National Park in West Java, Indonesia

In Journal of Forest Research
Volume (Issue): Vol.8 No.4
Peer-reviewed Article

This paper examines local residents attitudes towards conservation and Gunung Halimun National Park, in West Java, Indonesia. A questionnaire survey and informal interviews are conducted among 74 households, in three villages, in and around the park. The survey reveals that almost all people knew about the existence and the laws of the park. Many people recognize and understand the importance of the global conservation of the park. In addition, most people agree that local participation is indispensable for conservation. Furthermore, people tend to be eager to use secondary forests or scrubs rather than primary forests or old secondary, recognizing the use of forest ecosystems in a sustainable manner. However, many people would like to claim the right to use the forests and lands within the park. People are only interested in meeting their daily needs from the park at the moment. Fortunately, they hope to participate in the park administration and are also enthusiastic about cooperating with related stakeholders including government authorities and NGOs. The results of the survey can be summarized as follows. Firstly, the local community does not have enough information about the park and, consequently, people only follow the compulsory laws. Secondly, local conservation knowledge and the global objectives of park management cannot be harmonized because of the lack of information and agreement concerning the park between local people and government authorities. People do not have certain incentives to conserve biodiversity, as they cannot get any benefits from the park. Thirdly, in spite of these adverse findings, it largely depends on the government authorities capabilities whether the integrated park management can succeed or not, because people still have positive attitudes towards local participation.