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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Siberut is the largest in the chain of four Mentawai Islands situated off the west coast of Sumatra. It has been isolated from the Sumatra mainland and the Sunda shelf for at least 500,000 years, resulting in an exceptionally high degree of endemism. 65 % of the animals are though to be endemic. Lowland dipterocarp rain forest is the principal ecosystem.
About 29,500 people live in the biosphere reserve (1999) including the Mentawai indigenous people. They are mainly engaged in agriculture, fishing, livestock and rattan extraction. The lack of suitable markets limits income-generating activities and local people are not the principal beneficiaries of tourism (2,400 tourists in 1999).
Siberut Biosphere Reserve illustrates an example of resource management decisions taken by the local communities themselves. There have been many recurring conflicts in different views of resource use and development priorities. Since more decision-making power and financial control was given to the local governments in Siberut through a new local autonomy law in 1999, local governments have an incentive to use natural resources on a sustainable basis. As part of this process of empowering local communities, two workshops were held in order to involve local people in the management their land. In this context, village development plans were elaborated and training courses have been held on income-generating activities such as the processing of coconut oil.
  Major ecosystem type   Sub-tropical and temperate rainforest with coastal/marine component (coral reefs)
  Major habitats & land cover types   Tropical rainforest dominated by Shorea spp. and Dipterocarpus spp. together with Palaquium spp. and Hydnocarpus spp.; primary and secondary mixed forest; riverine forest dominated by Terminalia phellocarpa; freshwater swamp and bog forest; mangrove forests with Rhizophora spp., Bruguiera spp. and Casuarina equisetifolia; coral reefs; agroecosystem with taro, banana, coconut etc.
  Location   0055' to 0320'S; 9831' to 10040'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   405,070
  Core area(s)   46,533
  Buffer zone(s)   314,145 (of which traditional use zone: 99,555 ha, and intensive use zone: 20 ha)
  Transition area(s) when given   44,392 (Park Village zone)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +384
  Year designated   1981
  Administrative authorities   Siberut National Park Directorate General of Nature Protection and Conservation Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops

Last updated: 18/09/2007

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