Kuningan, West Java

The site

On 19 October 2004, the Government of Indonesia changed the function of Ciremai Mountain Protected Forest Area in Kuningan and Majalengka districts of West Java (approximately 15 500 hectare) into a national park.

Under the national park management system, the area should be better protected, ensuring that Mt Ciremai’s natural resources and ecosystem can be optimally utilized to improve the welfare of society.

Mt Ciremai National Park (Taman Nasional Gunung Ciremai/TNGC) functions as a water catchment for surrounding districts, including Cirebon, Indramayu, Majalengka and Kuningan. It is an important water reserve for domestic, industrial, agricultural and fisheries use.

The issues

The forest in the national park had been disturbed owing to land grabbing for agricultural purposes and also because of fire, which resulted in more marginal land. This has had a direct impact on surrounding areas, including the decrease of water discharge and spring water, in particular, during the dry season.

Previously, the forest area’s status was split between ‘protection forest’ and ‘production forest’ (under PT Perhutani). At that time, the Government of Kuningan district, located upstream, cooperated with the governments and companies of Cirebon district and Cirebon city, located downstream.

The cooperation took the form of a variation of a payments for environmental services’ scheme where the Cirebon governments and companies paid compensation to Kuningan district for the water they used. This generated additional income for Kuningan district.

However, the transaction process was not transparent and the need to implement conservation practices as well as development of communities around the park was not clear since the money was bundled with other income sources when allocated to villages.

Environmental services and the people involved

Environmental services

Spring water sourced from inside and outside of TNGC

People who provide the services

National park, Government of Kuningan district and Seda and Trijaya villages (which consist of  20 farmers’ groups totalling around 415 members)

People who benefit from the services

Companies (PT Indocement, PT Pertamina, CV Tirta Mekar Kuningan, PDAMs of Cirebon and Kuningan districts); farmers and communities in villages of   Kertawinangun , Seda, Trijaya, as well as villages in surrounding area of TNGC who use the water for drinking and farming.

People who act as intermediaries between the providers and the beneficiaries

Mount Ciremai Partnership Forum

The cooperative use of the environmental service of water from Mt Ciremai area started in 1993 when PT Indocement signed a cooperation agreement with PT Perhutani. In 2005, it changed into an agreement with the Government of Kuningan district and then the government made a new agreement with PT Perhutani regarding the distribution of compensation funds.

In addition to PT Indocement, the Government of Kuningan district also developed a water services cooperation agreement with the state-owned oil company, PT Pertamina, and the state-owned drinking water companies (Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum/PDAM) of Cirebon and Kuningan districts. At village level, a local NGO, Kanopi, together with the sub-district government of Mandirancan, facilitated cooperation between two upstream villages, Seda and Trijaya, with a downstream village, Kertawinangun.

After it was declared a national park, management required every water user to form an agreement with the park. Under such agreements, the water users were required to clarify programs of activities for the protection of water resources and to empower poor communities in the uplands. The activities were to be implemented through Forum Kemitraan Pengelolaan Kawasan Lindung Gunung Ciremai (FK-PKLGC/Mount Ciremai Protected Area Partnership Forum), which had been established as a framework for service providers and users. At the beginning of 2012, there were four entities that had signed agreements with TNGC: PDAM Cirebon city, PDAM Cirebon district, PDAM Kuningan district and CV Tirta Mekar Kuningan.

The rewards

RUPES aimed to clarify the basic concept of rewards for environmental services in relation to those provided by the Mt Ciremai National Park and to support collaboration among stakeholders at the district and provincial levels.

On 13 February 2012, FK-PKLGC was established as an intermediary agency to develop an environmental services cooperation process as well as programs to coordinate the activities of the various parties for the protection of Mount Ciremai and to empower the rural communities surrounding it. 

Several activities have been initiated, including focus group discussions, workshops and information dissemination series for stakeholders at district and provincial levels and cross-visits to Cidanau Watershed Forum in Banten and Water Care Forum at Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park. 


At the time of writing, FK-PKLGC had not fully embraced all of the neighbouring districts. Its membership was only derived from Kuningan and Cirebon districts. Therefore, FK-PKLGC planned to expand the scope of its territory to Majalengka and Indramayu districts and develop a strategic plan for 3–5 years to gain the support of the four regions up to the provincial level (West Java province). In addition, FK-PKLGC planned to design an environmental services cooperation mechanism that was more in accordance with the conditions of Mt Ciremai.

The mechanism was expected to improve environmental services’ scheme cooperation between users and service providers in the future, both for existing procurement agreements and those still being developed. In addition, it was also expected to show how an environmental services’ scheme can be applied between villages, that is, at a relatively non-commercial level, as well as to show the bigger mechanism at district level with commercial users.

The mechanisms are intended to further build awareness among the users and providers of environmental services, including policy makers from the governments, of the importance of preserving natural resources while also improving the livelihoods of communities.

Site partners

  • KANOPI Kuningan

Kanopi is a non-governmental organization, established in September 1999, located in Kuningan district, West Java. The vision of the organization is the realization of fair and sustainable management of natural resources beneficial to the prosperity and independence of the people. Its mission is to develop collaborative, community-based, natural resources’ management, improve the knowledge and quality of human resources, encourage economic development through community-based natural resources management, promote the practice of sustainable management of natural resources by the community, and develop a network of partnerships with other stakeholders. Strategies undertaken to realize the vision and mission are multistakeholder engagement and community empowerment.

Contact for more information 

Mr Rahmat Firmansyah, kanopi_kng@yahoo.com