A sign warning not to disturb orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park

Conservation in Indonesia encompasses efforts to protect the country's unique environment and biodiversity. Indonesia harbours a high rate of endemism and is rich in tropical rainforest and coral reefs.

Traditional forest garden practices have played a role in preserving biodiversity in Indonesia. Formal conservation efforts began in the 19th century during Dutch colonial rule. Following independence, Indonesian conservation has been implemented by the Indonesian government along with grassroots efforts from non-governmental organisations and the cooperation of religious leaders. Indonesia has gazetted 21.3% of its land and 9% of its maritime area as protected areas, with targets to increase these. Implementation of conservation in the country is hampered by deforestation and mining.


Research has suggested that traditional forest gardens cultivated by Dayak people in West Kalimantan had a similarly high number of tree species as natural forests, suggesting they have had a role in the conservation of biodiversity.[1]

There has been recognition of the need to conserve the unique wildlife of what is now Indonesia since at least the late 19th century in the Dutch colonial period.[2] Dutch authorities recognised birds as important in controlling agricultural pests. They viewed indigenous peoples as the primary threat to the native environment, which was used to justify strict control over this population, in particular limiting bird-of-paradise hunting. Members of the colonial middle class and elite were nevertheless allowed to hunt by purchasing licenses.[2] Following Indonesian independence, the prior association of conservationism with colonialism led to limited local support.[2]

Much Indonesian conservation is managed using a top-down approach by government agencies.[3] Several non-governmental organisations also operate in Indonesia.[4] From the 1980s onwards, some grassroots conservation initiatives have involved the cooperation of religious leaders and application of Islamic principles, including fatwas.[3][5][6]

Indonesia's tropical forests and peatlands are of national and global ecological, climatic and socioeconomic importance.[7] Researchers have recognised the importance of Indonesian conservation in climate change mitigation, given it possesses the largest coverage of mangrove forests of any country, which act as a carbon sink.[8]

Conservation challenges for the country include deforestation, mining,[9] poor coordination between government bodies, and overexploitation.[10] Indonesian conservation is often male-dominated, with women working in the sector facing challenges from cultural gender norms.[11]

Protected areas

Main articles: Protected areas of Indonesia and List of biosphere reserves of Indonesia

Banteng in Ujung Kulon National Park

As of 2023, the government of Indonesia has gazetted 21.3% of the country's land as protected areas, with the intention of developing a new protected area strategy in line with global post-2020 framework.[12] The country also has 411 marine reserves, or 9% of the country's total maritime area, and has set a target to increase this to 30% by 2045. However, a 2023 study suggested this target is not on track and that existing marine reserves are poorly managed.[13]

Around 390 marine areas are managed in some way by government bodies, communities, and other sectors, with potential for these to be considered other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). There is some policy recognition of OECMs but no national mechanism for reporting them.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Marjokorpi, Antti; Ruokolainen, Kalle (2003-04-01). "The role of traditional forest gardens in the conservation of tree species in West Kalimantan, Indonesia". Biodiversity & Conservation. 12 (4): 799–822. doi:10.1023/A:1022487631270. ISSN 1572-9710. S2CID 23637542.
  2. ^ a b c Cribb, Robert (2007-03-01). "Conservation in Colonial Indonesia". Interventions. 9 (1): 49–61. doi:10.1080/13698010601173817. ISSN 1369-801X. S2CID 161753608.
  3. ^ a b Mangunjaya, Fachruddin Majeri; McKay, Jeanne Elizabeth (2012-01-01). "Reviving an Islamic Approach for Environmental Conservation in Indonesia". Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology. 16 (3): 286–305. doi:10.1163/15685357-01603006. ISSN 1363-5247.
  4. ^ Waldmeier, Lena Moral. "How you can help conserve Indonesia's endangered species". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2024-01-02.
  5. ^ Mangunjaya, Fachruddin Majeri; Praharawati, Gugah (October 2019). "Fatwas on Boosting Environmental Conservation in Indonesia". Religions. 10 (10): 570. doi:10.3390/rel10100570. ISSN 2077-1444.
  6. ^ McKay, Jeanne E.; Mangunjaya, Fachruddin M.; Dinata, Yoan; Harrop, Stuart R.; Khalid, Fazlun (January 2014). "Practise what you preach: a faith-based approach to conservation in Indonesia". Oryx. 48 (1): 23–29. doi:10.1017/S0030605313001087. ISSN 0030-6053.
  7. ^ Harrison, Mark E.; Ottay, Juliarta Bramansa; D’Arcy, Laura J.; Cheyne, Susan M.; Anggodo; Belcher, Claire; Cole, Lydia; Dohong, Alue; Ermiasi, Yunsiska; Feldpausch, Ted; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Gunawan, Adib; Höing, Andrea; Husson, Simon J.; Kulu, Ici P. (March 2020). McPherson, Jana (ed.). "Tropical forest and peatland conservation in Indonesia: Challenges and directions". People and Nature. 2 (1): 4–28. Bibcode:2020PeoNa...2....4H. doi:10.1002/pan3.10060. hdl:10023/18987. ISSN 2575-8314.
  8. ^ Sidik, Frida; Supriyanto, Bambang; Krisnawati, Haruni; Muttaqin, Muhammad Z. (September 2018). "Mangrove conservation for climate change mitigation in Indonesia". WIREs Climate Change. 9 (5). Bibcode:2018WIRCC...9E.529S. doi:10.1002/wcc.529. ISSN 1757-7780. S2CID 134556887.
  9. ^ "Foreign-backed nickel hub in Indonesia causing mass deforestation -report". Reuters. 18 January 2024.
  10. ^ Prawiradilaga, Dewi M.; Soedjito, Herwasono (2013-09-16), Raven, Peter H.; Sodhi, Navjot S.; Gibson, Luke (eds.), "Conservation Challenges in Indonesia", Conservation Biology (1 ed.), Wiley, pp. 134–141, doi:10.1002/9781118679838.ch16, ISBN 978-0-470-65863-5, retrieved 2024-01-02
  11. ^ Poor, Erin E.; Imron, Muhammad Ali; Novalina, Rafselia; Shaffer, L. Jen; Mullinax, Jennifer M. (June 2021). "Increasing diversity to save biodiversity: Rising to the challenge and supporting Indonesian women in conservation". Conservation Science and Practice. 3 (6). Bibcode:2021ConSP...3E.395P. doi:10.1111/csp2.395. ISSN 2578-4854.
  12. ^ Pusparini, Wulan; Cahyana, Andi; Grantham, Hedley S.; Maxwell, Sean; Soto-Navarro, Carolina; Macdonald, David W. (2023-01-16). "A bolder conservation future for Indonesia by prioritising biodiversity, carbon and unique ecosystems in Sulawesi". Scientific Reports. 13 (1): 842. Bibcode:2023NatSR..13..842P. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-21536-2. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 9842766. PMID 36646696.
  13. ^ Gokkon, Basten (2023-05-19). "Study: Indonesia's extensive network of marine reserves are poorly managed". Mongabay Environmental News. Retrieved 2024-01-02.
  14. ^ Estradivari; Agung, Muh. Firdaus; Adhuri, Dedi Supriadi; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Sualia, Ita; Andradi-Brown, Dominic A.; Campbell, Stuart J.; Iqbal, Mohamad; Jonas, Harry D.; Lazuardi, Muhammad Erdi; Nanlohy, Hellen; Pakiding, Fitryanti; Pusparini, Ni Kadek Sri; Ramadhana, Hikmah C.; Ruchimat, Toni (2022-03-01). "Marine conservation beyond MPAs: Towards the recognition of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) in Indonesia". Marine Policy. 137: 104939. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104939. ISSN 0308-597X.