Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 14, pp 3735–3744 | Cite as

All politics is local: the case of Macrocephalon maleo conservation on Sulawesi, Indonesia

  • Mochamad Indrawan
  • Nur Wahid
  • Marc Argeloo
  • Suryani Mile-Doucet
  • John Tasirin
  • Lian Pin Koh
  • Marcy Summers
  • Philip J. K. McGowan
Brief Communication


The rich biodiversity of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is subject to a high rate of deforestation and other pressures. Its plight is symbolized by the deteriorating conservation status of the maleo, an iconic galliform bird that is both striking in appearance and intimately bound up with local traditions. After a series of international-led projects during the 1980s and early 1990s conservation efforts petered out until recently when there has been an upsurge in local-led concern and action. To capitalize on this a workshop was held in 2010 to share local perceptions, lessons and concerns about the species and these conservation efforts. The workshop was dominated by members of local communities and their elected or traditional representatives, although there was also a wide variety of other stakeholders present, including from national species conservation and local government agencies. Whilst there is a need for more information to underpin the actions necessary to ensure the survival of this species, the overwhelming perception of participants was that continued decentralization of policy making and budgetary responsibility would enhance the conservation efforts for this species (and other elements of biodiversity) considerably. This would allow the upsurge in locally-led conservation activities to be continued and expanded.


Biodiversity Conservation policy Deforestation Tropics Indonesia Southeast Asia 



The first international maleo workshop was organized by the Pokja Maleo Indonesia (Marc Argeloo, Pelestarian Alam Liar dan Satwa, Aliansi Tompotika, and Indonesian Ornithologists’ Union). Funding was provided by the Ecosystems Grants Programme-Netherlands, Dutch Foundation International Bird Conservation, World Wide Fund for Nature-Netherlands, Wildlife Conservation Society, Van Tienhoven Stichting, and BirdLife-Netherlands. We thank all participants of the workshop, including local communities, district and provincial governments, and the Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation. L.P.K. was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the ETH North–South Centre. We also thank Susanne Dennings from the Malleefowl Preservation Group, Australia for constructive discussions and two anonymous referees for comments on an earlier draft. We dedicate this work to the memory of Prof. Djuwantoko, one of Indonesia’s leading conservation teachers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mochamad Indrawan
    • 1
  • Nur Wahid
    • 2
  • Marc Argeloo
    • 3
  • Suryani Mile-Doucet
    • 4
  • John Tasirin
    • 5
  • Lian Pin Koh
    • 6
    • 7
  • Marcy Summers
    • 8
  • Philip J. K. McGowan
    • 9
  1. 1.Center for Biodiversity StrategiesFaculty of Mathematics and Sciences, Universitas IndonesiaDepokIndonesia
  2. 2.Redaksi Media PantauKecamatan Luwuk, Kabupaten BanggaiIndonesia
  3. 3.PlanGAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Yayasan Pemerhati Lingkungan (YPL)LuwukIndonesia
  5. 5.Pelestarian Alam Liar Dan Satwa (PALS)ManadoIndonesia
  6. 6.Department of Environmental SciencesETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  7. 7.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  8. 8.Aliansi Konservasi TompotikaLuwukIndonesia
  9. 9.World Pheasant Association, Newcastle University Biology Field StationNewcastle upon TyneUK

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