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Local Context
Gunung Palung National Park

Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP) is a 108,000 hectare protected area in West Kalimantan, Indonesia that hosts an estimated 2,500 orangutans and a number of other rare and endangered species, including gibbons, clouded leopards, palm civets, crested fireback pheasants, great argus pheasants, and eight species of hornbills. Considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of Indonesian national parks, its habitat range includes coastal forest, mangrove swamps, peat swamps, lowland rain forest, and montane forest. More than 60,000 people and 44 villages are supported by the park’s watershed.

Illegal logging has severely degraded the park over the past several decades. Between 1988 and 2002, 38 percent of the park’s lowlands and 70 percent of the 10-km buffer zone surrounding the park was deforested through intensive logging by timber concessions. In Kalimantan, these concessions often illegally expand beyond concession boundaries into protected areas. Even as logging concessions of of the 1980s and 1990s expired, population growth and the expansion of palm oil reinforced pressure on the park, and an estimated 12,384 hectares were lost between 1992 and 2004 – 13 percent of the park’s formally designated total area.

Learning Objectives
  • Understand relationships and interconnections between history, economics, policy, ecosystems, and health care in the Gunung Palung National Park region.
  • Connect the situation in and around Gunung Palung National Park to worldwide planetary health trends.
Planetary Health Principle: Historical and Current Global Values

An understanding of the local and global context is necessary to solve problems in the present. Our unique approach identifies opportunities for positive interventions by recognizing patterns and appreciating the local context.