INDONESIA'S SECRET FORESTS: Underground water world

In Java’s cultural heartland, a hidden world of caverns, clear water and mysterious creatures has created an ecosystem like no other. The real treasure lies deep underground, in a mysterious world of rivers and caverns, adorned with crystals, stalactites and stalagmites and inhabited by unusual creatures. Sculpted by water over millions of years, this subterranean system is a magnet for adventure seekers and a key reservoir for local communities. But erosion, pollution and overuse threaten to contaminate the water and harm the unusual geological formations. This underground world is inseparable from the world above, and land use on the surface affects both the quality and the quantity of the system’s water. Therefore, funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Kanoppi Project, a joint effort of the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (ICRAF), is bringing a multidisciplinary team from Watershed Management Technology Center, the regional planning agency, and community representatives together to study the watershed’s problems and develop plans and policies for better management at the landscape level.

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