USAID BIJAK Essential Ecosystem (KEE) pilot sites in East Java encourage Tuban District to protect the karst landscape

14 April 2021 The northern limestone mountains, commonly called the Kendeng Mountains(Photo: Denysya Farid CC Attribute 4.0) The northern limestone mountains, commonly called the Kendeng Mountains(Photo: Denysya Farid CC Attribute 4.0)

Indonesia possesses millions of hectares of high conservation value landscapes including forests, mangroves, peatlands, and karsts that are ecologically, socio-economically, and culturally important. At a multi-stakeholder meeting last week where BIJAK and the Bojonegoro District Forestry Services agency presented the preliminary results of a biodiversity inventory and recent work to improve the management of KEEs in the province, the Vice-Regent of Tuban District requested the East Java Provincial governor to designate 1,800 hectares of karst landscape in the district as an Essential Ecosystem Area (KEE). Known for its natural springs and complex cave systems, the Tuban karst landscape is part of the North Kendeng mountain range that stretches into Central Java. By protecting the karst area, the district government hopes to protect the natural springs that are a source of drinking water from the threat of degradation posed by a nearby cement factory. Participants in the multi-stakeholder learned about the steps BIJAK, ARuPA and the new KEE forums in Banyuwangi, Gresik, Trenggalek, and Sumenep have taken to strengthen KEE management through improved mapping, governance, and monitoring.