- Bali Barat National Park and the surrounding local communities
Bali Barat National Park in Indonesia
The forests are part of the villagers life
i-i-network project with the Park
It is the above mentioned background that a Japanese NGO, i-i-network, started collaborating with the National Park. The project is titled “Creation of co-existent and collaborative relationship between the local communities and Bali Barat National Park for conservation and management of natural resources and empowerment”, and the duration is three years starting from June 2008. “i-i-network” is a Japanese NGO that has experience of capacity building for community facilitators, and it has partners in Indonesia who have enough skills and experience on community facilitation. The NGO sends experts both from Japan and from the other areas of Indonesia to the National Park to provide training and advices to the Park field staff in order that those staff will be able to facilitate community empowerment in the surrounding areas. The project is supported by JICA through its scheme of “Grass Roots Partnership Technical Cooperation”.
i-i-network provides training and advices to the Park field staff
Capacity building of the park field staff
At first, i-i-network held a workshop with the project team consisting of the Park field staff. In the workshop, the team members shared their experiences with the local community people, and confirmed that it is very important to have good relationship with the community if they want to ask the communities to collaborate with the Park. Then, the project team went outside to visit local communities surrounding the Park, and found out there are various potential resources in the villages that can be utilized for the development activities.
After that, a series of training workshops was conducted among the team members with the facilitators and resource persons from i-i-network. The major topics of the workshops were, “partnership building with the community people”, “Observation and hypothesis making”, “interview to the community people”, “issue analysis”, and “how to share the findings with the community people”. At the beginning, the Park staff was not aware of importance and skills of facilitation as they did not have experience to be facilitators in community development. The only activities they had implemented in the surrounding villages were to distribute saplings or livestock to the villagers without considering any initiatives of the villagers themselves.
Now, the Project team members realized how important it is to build partnership with the villagers, so when they visit the communities, they do not wear uniform of the National Park, and try to become friends who exchange views and opinions in equal position with the community members. The team members also understood how to make hypothesis on the issue of the communities through fact finding by observation and interview. They visited the village many times, observed the condition of natural resources including the forest surrounding the village, and conducted dialogue with the villagers. Some of the team members strongly feel that it is extremely important to know the real situation of the village and make hypothesis before starting any activities there.
Findings at the village and future prospect