©UNESCO/Cibodas Biosphere Reserve
Cibodas Biosphere Reserve

Situated in the province of West Java in the south of Jakarta, the Cibodas Biosphere Reserve is an example of an ecosystem in the humid tropics under strong human pressure.

The Gunung Gede-Pangrango National park constitutes the core area of the biosphere reserve and encompasses twin volcanoes and mountainous rain-forests, including many species endemic to Java.

The buffer zone comprises production forests, tea plantations and horticulture fields. The majority of the transition area is covered by rice irrigation fields and human settlements.

Designation date: 1977
Administrative authorities: Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Coordination of Region Development Agency, Research Center for Biology-Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Indonesian MAB Programme National Committee, Local Government of Bogor, Sukabumi and Cianjur, Private sector, NGO's (CI, Kehati Foundation, Telapak Foundation, WCS), Bogor Agricultural University, University of Indonesia.
Surface area: 114,779 ha
Core area(s): 21,975 ha
Buffer area(s): 12,700 ha
Transition area(s): 80,104 ha

6°42'S - 6°52'S
Longitude: 106°49'E - 107°04'E
Midpoint: 06°47'00"S - 106°56'30"E

Ecological characteristics

©UNESCO/Cibodas Biosphere Reserve
Cibodas Biosphere Reserve

The core area of this Biosphere Reserve consists of twin volcanoes: Mt. Gede (2,958m) and Mt. Pangrango (3,109m). A high saddle known as Kandang Badak (2,400 masl) connects the two summits. The mountains slopes are very steep and are cut into by rapidly flowing streams, which carve deep valleys and long ridges. Generally, the area within the core area is well drained, but the few naturally occuring swamps Rawa Goyonggong, Rawa Denok, and Situgunung enrich the variety of habits.

Based on elevation and composition of forest stratification, the existing vegetation is characterized by three types of ecosystems: sub-montane (<1.500 m asl), montane (1.500 -– 2.400 m asl), and sub-alpine (<2.400 m asl).

Mt. Gede and Mt. Pangrango, have long played a significant role in conservation and biological and ecological research, in particular botanical studies. In geological terms, both form part of recent mountain systems with Mt. Gede listed as an active volcano. The processes that led to the formation of these mountains began 3 million years ago and are still ongoing. This area also functions as an important hydrological catchment, providing water to approximately 20 million people. It is considered as one of the wettest parts of Java with rainfall ranging between 3,000 mm and 4,200 mm per year.

More than 1,000 species of flora from 57 families can be found in the National Park. The wild fauna include 251 bird species, accounting for more than 50% of bird species in Java Island. The park is also home to; 110 mammal species, including the rare Javan Gibbon (Hylobates Moloch); more than 300 species of insects and; around 75 species of reptiles. One bird species, the Javan hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi), was declared a national rare fauna symbol by Presidential Decree.

Socio-economic characteristics

©UNESCO/Cibodas Biosphere Reserve
Cibodas Biosphere Reserve

Around 454,325 people inhabit 66 villages located around the core area. The majority are Sundanese. Most are dependent on resources from the core area for their livelihoods and some live below the poverty line. About 70% work as farmers, but only a minority own their own land. Every year 70,000 tourists (the majority of which are Indonesian) visit the Biosphere Reserve.

The two mountains are renowned for their grandeur and isolation and are rich in local history and legends, such as the myths of ‘Eyang Suryakencana’ and ‘Prabu Siliwangi’. Several small, remote caves and stones situated the park have been identified as sites of ancient religious significance.

Cibodas Biosphere Reserve is also renowned for ecotourism development. The numerous attractions include waterfalls, environmental education, camping, bird watching and local culture. However, the most frequent activity is mountain hiking to the summits of the Gede and Pangrango mountains.

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