The Cyclops Mountains were designated as a nature reserve in 1995. The Cyclops Nature Reserve encompasses primary and secondary dryland forests and is home to important biodiversity, including several endemic species restricted to this mountain range. Importantly, the Cyclops forests are the source of water for Jayapura and Sentani, and help to prevent large-scale landslides that have had disastrous impacts in the past. The proximity of the mountain range to the provincial capital also provides a focal point for conservation and the maintenance of environmental services that they provide.
Due to the proximity of Papua’s largest population center, Jayapura, the mountain range is under threat from illegal logging, charcoal making, wildlife poaching, and encroachment for agricultural land by mountain communities migrating to the capital.
The effects from a changing climate are already evident all over Indonesia. LESTARI aims to assist multi-stakeholders in Papua to protect and sustainably manage important sites such as the Cyclops Landscape to mitigate climate change. This involves building the capacity to manage and protect forest resources that are responsible for supporting local livelihoods, reducing vulnerability, and sequestering vast quantities of carbon.
Protecting the forest within the nature reserve requires that threats from outside the protected areas are reduced and halted.The drivers of deforestation are complex and involve, cultural, political, and socio-economic factors. Stopping deforestation in the Cyclops Landscape will only be effective if multiple stakeholders are fully engaged.Voices of local community members located in and around the forest area, government entities, and the private sector that benefits from the environmental and ecosystems services must all be included in a collaborative management effort. A Cyclops Nature Reserve collaborative management master plan has been developed by Universitas Cendrawasih.This is intended to reduce encroachment pressure and gain broader support for conservation from local communities and municipal, district, and provincial governments.
LESTARI also supports enhancing protected area management in the Cyclops Landscape.This includes facilitating dialogues and conservation agreements with local communities, as well as capacity building for park management authorities to utilize modern tools such as the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) to monitor and address threats to forest and biodiversity resources.
LESTARI will work with partners to explore the establishment of a conservation forest management unit (FMU), providing an important pilot for conservation FMU and a effective solution for co-management of Cyclops Nature Reserve in its broader landscape.