The effect of forest institution connectedness, incentive participation program, and social capital on public participation and welfare as mediators of forest management were conducted in the forest conservation area of Baluran National Park, East Java, Indonesia. The problem facing this area is that the five buffer villages of Wonorejo, Sumber Waru, Sumber Anyar, Bajul Mati, and Watu Kebo exploit the forest?s resources for their own economic reasons. The purposes of this research are to analyze and explain: (1) the effect of the forest institutions connectedness on public participation; (2) how welfare mediates forest institutions connectedness to public participation; (3) the effect of incentive participation programs on public participation; (4) how welfare mediates the effect of incentive participation programs on public participation; (5) the social effect capital on public participation; (6) how welfare mediates social capital?s effect toward public participation; and (7) welfare?s effect on public participation. The survey method and questionnaires were used for a proportional random sampling of 170 respondents. They are 120 households that were members of the forestry community training center and 50 respondents from the staff of Baluran National Park. Validity and reliability testing of instruments and hypothesis were performed using WarpPLS 5.0 software. The results show: (1) forest institutions connectedness to public participation does not contribute positive significant effect; (2) the effect of forest institution that is related to public participation has been fully mediated by welfare; (3) incentive participation programs have a positive significant effect on public participation; (4) welfare partially mediates the effect of incentive participation programs on public participation; (5) social capital has a positive significant effect on public participation; (6) welfare mediates social capital?s effect on public participation; and (7) welfare has a positive significant effect toward optimizing public participation in forest conservation management in the Baluran National Park. Practical implications of this research are: (1) the contribution of nontimber forest products as a proportion of families? income is between 12.99% and 28.46%; and (2) based on the classification of public participation especially in four programs (participation in planning program, implementation, benefit-sharing, and evaluation and monitoring) that are low level at 47.1%, middle level at 33.5%, and high level at 19.4%.
Part of the book: Protected Areas, National Parks and Sustainable Future