Cidanau, Banten

The site

Cidanau is an important watershed for the supply of domestic and industrial water as well as protecting biodiversity. It covers 22 260 hectare of land and is located in both Serang and Padeglang districts in Banten province. Included in the watershed is Rawa Danau Reserve, a 4200 hectare nature reserve that contains the last lowland swamp forest in Java and is home to 131 endemic species. The reserve also plays an important role as a catchment for the Cidanau River.

For almost the last two decades, as an impact of rapid growth population Cidanau watershed has experienced  rapid land-use change from forestland into agriculture. The number of people living and illegally practising farming in the upstream of the protected area has increased from around 600 in the late 1990s to an estimated 1500 in 2007. As a result, Rawa Danau Reserve has also experienced a decrease of flora and fauna diversity. 

The issues

Numerous efforts have been made to overcome problems in Cidanau watershed, including a forced transmigration program for the communities living in Rawa Danau Reserve, reforestation and land rehabilitation. However, lack of consultation and planning among key stakeholders, as well as lack of attention to social outcomes, has only led to failures. 

These failures triggered the establishment of the Forum Komunikasi DAS Cidanau (FKDC/Communication Forum of Cidanau Watershed) in 1998, which aimed to increase public and local government awareness of the environmental problems in the watershed and to lead concerted efforts for conservation. In 2002, the forum received boarder recognition from Banten provincial government and gained legal status through a governor’s decree.

Environmental services and the people involved

Environmental services

Watershed conservation management

People who provide the services

Six farmers’ groups with 368 members

People who benefit from the services

PT Krakatau Tirta Industri, a state-owned water company, Government of Banten province

People who act as intermediaries between the providers and the beneficiaries

Forum Komunikasi DAS Cidanau, a communication forum for Cidanau watershed

A payments for watershed services mechanism began by identifying potential stakeholders. Four farming communities in the upstream areas of Cidanau watershed were selected as the service providers. They were chosen based on the critical aspect of their land, including steep slopes prone to erosion. The state-owned water company (PT Krakatau Tirta Industri/KTI), providing water to the Cilegon industrial area, Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum (PDAM/state-owned drinking water company) and PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN/State Power Company, acted as the buyers for the service.  FKDC played the role of the intermediary, not only to assist the farmers but also to be actively involved in administration and to monitor the rehabilitation process. At the time of writing, FKDC and KTI are trying to persuade another potential buyer to join the scheme.

The rewards

The price was decided through negotiations with the buyer (KTI), the intermediary (FKDC) and the sellers (farmers’ groups from four villages). In 2004, KTI signed an agreement with FKDC to provide USD 95 000 in total to pay for the environmental services that the watershed provided for five years. The payment was distributed in instalments: USD 35 000 for phase 1 in 2005–2007 and USD 40 000 for phase 2 in 2007–2009. The third payment in the fifth year was USD 20 000. The agreed price was then formalized in the form of a memorandum of agreement between KTI and FKDC, with representation from the Governor of Banten province). A 175-hectare agreement was later developed between FKDC and the farmers’ groups. Upon satisfactory results from the previous contract, KTI extended their cooperation with FKDC, increasing the total payment from USD 95 000 in the first five years to nearly USD 125 000 for another five years (2010–2014). They will pay USD 25 000 per year to cover conservation activities on 150 hectare. 

Of the total money received, 80% went to the communities, of which 95% was used for rehabilitation and the remaining 5% for local business investment. Meanwhile, 14% of the total money was allocated for transaction costs and managed by FKDC. The transaction costs included capacity-building activities, finding potential buyers, and monitoring and verification processes. The remaining 6% of the total money was for government taxes.


After the RUPES project ended, development of payments schemes in Cidanau continue, as can be seen in the FKDC workplan for 2010–2014 where they committed to rehabilitate a further 300 hectare through a rewards’ contract as well as developing and strengthening the economy and livelihoods’ aspects of the surrounding community. Some programs were ready to be launched, such as a multistakeholder program on sanitation and clean water funded by the national government (Ministry of Public Works); Green Village program, which consisted several activities: freshwater fish farming, organic farming, ‘jabon’ (Anthocepalus sp) nursery, biogas and microhydropower. This program was funded by PLN’s Unit Pelayanan Jaringan (UPJ/Network Service Unit) Banten Utara. Last but not least, FKDC planned to continue to seek support from other water users (companies, communities) in order to increase the environmental services fund and expand the rehabilitation area.

Site partners

  • Rekonvasi Bhumi

Rekonvasi Bhumi is a non-governmental organization that has the vision of creating a better social order in Banten province. The organization sees itself as playing a balancing role, which is critical in view of the problems that exist in society, especially for the people of Serang district, and taking concrete steps to find solutions to these problems. In addition, Rekonvasi Bhumi also has particular concerns about the importance of the environment. Currently, Rekonvasi Bhumi is the leader of conservation initiatives in Cidanau watershed through developing environmental services’ schemes with support from governments and companies.

  • Forum Komunikasi DAS Cidanau (FKDC)

FKDC is a communication forum consisting of government and non-government entities. It is an independent body with the main task of leading activities to protect Cidanau watershed. The objective of the forum is to establish integrated management based on one river, one plan and one river basin in Cidanau watershed. Stakeholders include representatives from the governments, communities and businesses of Banten province and the districts of Serang and Pandeglang and Cilegon.

Contact for more information 

Mr Nana Permana Rahadian,