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The Ecology of Rawa Aopa, a Peat-swamp in Sulawesi, Indonesia

  • Robert Zwahlen (a1)
Extract

Rawa Aopa is a large swamp in South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia — the only major peat-swamp in this mainly mountainous island. Its vegetation and fauna are still quite poorly known. The existing information is summarized here. With the creation of new villages as part of Indonesia's transmigration programme, the human population in this area has increased very rapidly. Pressure on natural resources — especially soils and forests — is increasing, and primary forests are dwindling rapidly. This in turn increases the threats to Rawa Aopa, as erosion in its catchment area inevitably leads to a rapid silting up of the swamp. The swamp has a potential as a source of food (fish and sago) and income (rattan and other products), and it might to some degree become a tourist attraction.

From a scientific point of view, the gaps in the knowledge about water-regime, vegetation, and fauna, ought to be remedied. In order to attain sustainable utilization of this area, a thorough plan ought to be made for the whole catchment of Rawa Aopa. The most important measure to take is the protection of the forests covering the hills and the surroundings of the swamp. Also important very widely is the protection of soils. Furthermore, it is recommended to include the northern part of the swamp in the already-existing Rawa Aopa—Watumohai National Park.

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References
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Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
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