Sulawesi (17.46 million ha) is the world’s 11th largest island that has a remarkable globally significant diversity of terrestrial flora and fauna with an impressive variety of forest ecosystems, and supports high rates of endemism and species-level biodiversity. Despite the existing 1.6 million Ha of 63 conservation areas throughout the island, Sulawesi’s biodiversity remains severely threatened and fast degrading due to a number of human-induced threats. Protection and management of protected areas (PAs) has not been adequate to prevent extensive encroachment and damage within PA boundaries, whilst natural areas beyond PA boundaries have been even more rapidly degraded as a result of logging, conversion, mining, fire and hunting. The long-term solution to conserving Sulawesi’s biodiversity is an improved PA system that is well integrated into its surrounding landscape, with the increasing capacities and financial resources to safeguard biodiversity from existing and future threats.
The objective of EPASS is to strengthen the effectiveness and financial sustainability of Sulawesi’s PA system to respond to existing threats to globally significant biodiversity. This objective will be achieved through three interconnected components:
(1) Enhanced systemic and institutional capacity for planning and management of Sulawesi PA system;
(2) Financial sustainability of the Sulawesi PA system; and
(3) Threat reduction and collaborative governance in the target PAs and buffer zones.
The project is implemented by the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The project specifically focuses on three important Sites, i.e., Lore Lindu (217,992 ha) and Bogani Nani Wartabone (287,115 ha) National Parks and Greater Tangkoko Conservation Area (8,665 ha), which are some of the most important sites for terrestrial biodiversity in Sulawesi.