7 zones strengthen TNBD as a home for the Orang Rimba

The appointment of Bukit Duabelas National Park was obviously made for the Orang Rimba, a group whose livelihood is attached to the forest. WARSI advocated the Bukit Dua Belas National Park to protect the livelihood of the Orang Rimba which has been threatened by massive conservation in 90s as most of Bukit Duabelas National Park is converted into palm plantation, industrial timber plantation and transmigrant area.

In 2000, the government as the most powerful party over the forest management agreed to take the license given to PT Inhutani V – the company in charge of managing the plantation. Advocacy conducted by WARSI with the support of multi parties in Jambi Province can reassure the central government to take the license of plantation and made it a living space for the Orang Rimba called Bukit Duabelas National Park.

It needs much effort and time from the park reservation to the national park appointment by the ministry of forestry by the decree of forestry ministry number SK.4916/Menhut-VII/KUH/2014. The next obstacle we would have would be pledging the role and existence of the Orang Rimba within the forest area in zoning system as appropriate as a national park. The spatial map of the Orang Rimba is very crucial to describe the zoning system accommodating their needs and existence in line with their traditional culture verified by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in terms of TNBD management by zoning system in line with the decree of General Directorate PHKA no: SK.22/IV-KKBHL/2015. The Bukit Dua Belas National Park (TNBD) is specified into seven zones, namely Core Zone (8,166.63 ha or 14.91%), Rimba or forest Zone (795.18 ha or 1.45%), Traditional zone (36,309.20 ha or 66.28%), Religious Zone (6,473.58 ha or 11.82%), Utilization Zone (522.85 ha or 0.95%), Rehabilitation Zone (278.64 ha or 0.51%) and Particular Zone (2,234.32 ha or 4.08%) in 2015.

The zoning system revealed the Orang Rimba as the main occupant of Bukit Duabelas area. The area managed by the Orang Rimba is called as traditional zone which covers the largest area or nearly 36,309.20 ha (70%). Traditional zone is a zone for the Orang Rimba to hunt in, cultivate, plant and build some cottages. In short, the traditional zone is only for the Orang Rimba, not for other parties.

Meanwhile, the Rimba zone over 795.18 ha is made for the pusaron or funeral area of the Orang Rimba, perana’on or birth place and benuaron or a place where various fruits grow in. The Orang Rimba deemed these areas as a sacral place and therefore, no one is allowed to come in but their own group. Meanwhile, the religious area over 6,473.58 ha serves as a place to conduct a traditional ritual ceremony such as bebalai (marriage), bededikiron (pray) and other rituals.

In addition, the rehabilitation zone has smaller area over 278.64 ha comprising of all degraded areas as it aimed at replanting and restoring the degraded area. The utilization zone over 522.85 ha aimed at developing the ecotourism, research spot, and biodiversity by TNBD authority.

The particular zone over 2,234.32 ha made as the result of proposal of PDP southern TNBD regarding people’s plantation within the southern TNBD existing even before the legal decree over the TNBD area entered into force. Old trees estimated decades indicate this area. The community got their right to manage the plantation in this zone for one productive period of rubber, as the rubber would be replaced by other forest trees such as jelutung, tembesu and so forth.

Meanwhile, the core zone over 8,166.63 ha is a protected zone lies along southern Bukit Dua Belas National Park. This zone prohibits any kinds of activities within, either farming or plantation, yet, the traditional ceremonies or rituals are still allowed to do. This zone aimed at water catchment area as its topography is all hills. However the Orang Rimba assumed this place as a spot they can not go into because the Gods are here. In 2004, the management plan of national park issued by BKSDA can not accommodate the needs of the Orang Rimba, hence it needed further discussion and came to the final decision in 2015. It is expecting the zonation accommodating the Orang Rimba will lead to optimal management.

Moreover, the general directorate of KSDAE MoEF’s visit last week has obviously stated that they should provide an access if the development carried out in this area goes in line with the needs of the Orang Rimba (Sukmareni/Maryati).

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