Conservation practices hinges on the collaboration of different actors across disciplines and institutions. Local and traditional communities play a very important role in conservation successes, either due to their vast knowledge of the area, or due to the fact that their support has a huge impact on the implementation in the field. It is thus important to understand the context of the local knowledge of the communities and integrate these knowledge in a new context through transdisciplinary processes. The integration of modern sciences- local knowledge can bring forth new insights into conservation practices that is important for the development of sustainability sciences.
The Dangku wildlife reserve is one of the last remaining forest in the lowland tropical rainforest within the Sembilang-Dangku landscape in South Sumatra, Indonesia. In 1990s, the Dangku landscape was an intact lowland rainforest. However, uncontrolled development (including encroachment) coupled with the great forest fires in 2015 have fragmented the landscape into small forest patches, threatening the existence of those endangered species. The interaction of communities, government and the role of civil society in developing a common vision for the area was implemented.
To assess the feasibility of the Dangku landscape as a wildlife corridor through transdisciplinary approach
To study the local context of the community, their knowledge and livelihood practices in the surrounding Dangku landscape
The use of participatory approach in community engagement, focus group discussions, and village mappings. Study on the ethnography of the communities was also conducted.
There are many issues that need to be addressed first in order to create enabling conditions for the wildlife corridor concept to work on the ground. The challenges of knowledge co-creation for conservation came from each of the stakeholders stemming from their different biases. The communities perceived that the concept of wildlife corridor may hinder their ability to find livelihood. On the other hand some of these communities encroached the areas. Conflicts of land ownership is the norm in the area (between the communities and the state or the private sector and between the communities of different villages).
Through many participatory processes and engagement, a conservation partnership was developed together between the government and the local communities. Rehabilitation was actively conducted together.
We conclude that inclusivity and the changes in paradigm are needed for conservation practices to be implemented. Transdisciplinarity renders the importance of knowledge co-creation in the context of sustainability.
Transdisciplinary, Sustainability Science, conservation, lowland, tropical, Dangku landscape, South Sumatera