In 2018 Masarang starts a new nature conservation program on Sulawesi in the Boltim area. This area is located about 150 kilometers south of Bitung, on the east side of the island.
Why do we start this program?
The first ideas for the project arose when village chiefs from the surrounding villages asked Willie Smits for help because they were afraid of flooding. The area is important for the protection of the local population, en is comparable with the Masarang mountain-project close to Tomohon. There are many environmental issues that need to be addressed and the experience that Masarang has is very important.
An area rich in endemic species of North Sulawesi. Masarang has carried out a number of surveys in the area in 2017 and it shows:
It is the last intact area where all important endemically protected species of North Sulawesi are still present, including the crested macaque, the anoa, dwarf buffalo, the tarsier, the mallet, the civet cat and hornbills. There has been hardly any deforestation in the area, but there are also some traps that indicate poach activities.
There are now plans to work together with the local government and the local population. The plans include:
- Setting up an environmental education center, and possibly setting up an ecotourism program to support the ongoing work in Boltim;
- Setting up a tree nursery for reforestation;
- The collection of rare plant species from the Boltim forest and spread them in other places;
- To stop the poaching of wild animals;
- Exploring opportunities for a sugar palm program to generate income for the local population;
- The placing of unlocking cages to allow animals in captivity to be released in the area.
Why is the Boltim Ratakombot area important?
The Ratakombot forest protects the village of Matabulu, and reduces the risk of flooding in Nuangan. Severe floods have already taken place resulting in deaths in the village of Matabulu, the floods were due to the logging of forest by PT Dinasti.
Nuangan has plans to invest in fisheries. When the Matabula forest is cut down, this will result in erosion of the mountain slopes and sedimentation in the harbor, and because of this both the port will clog and there will be far less fish in the sea. The Boltim project is a large-scale project and will require a lot of effort from the Masarang Foundation in the coming years.
In the first week of August, the governor of the area will be consulted on an area of 2300 hectares.
The most recent field study data shows that there have also babirusa traces been found! A social survey showed that 100% of people in the vicinity of the area are supporting the project. And there are many sugarpalms in the area!
We will keep you informed!