Antropologi Indonesia


Since the colonial era of the East Indies, multiple ruling regimes have promoted a certain narrative to utilize the forests on Mount Halimun Salak for nature preservation and profit accumulation. Existing studies of the designation of Halimun Salak as a conservation area have shown that such an establishment led to conflicts over land and livelihoods with the surrounding communities and local farmers. Complementing these studies, my qualitative research in the Halimun Salak Corridor (HSC) highlights that the “common good” narrative promoted by conservation programs has not benefited people’s livelihoods. Conversely, the expansion of conservation area through HSC has further restricted access for local farmers to forest and hampered the efforts to fulfill their daily needs. Eventually, this loss of sources of livelihood caused a conflict after conservation programs were implemented by the authorities. I argue that such a condition is caused by a bias related to how the “common good” is interpreted by the Indonesian state. This narrative-focused study then offers an avenue to understand the complexities of conservation efforts where the forests are shared between maintaining biodiversity goals and subsistent interests.


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