Gunung Walat University Forest (GWUF) has become a field laboratory whose utilization increases progressively, either by members of IPB (teachers, students and supporting staffs) or by various parties / groups, ranging from school students, college students (from Indonesiaorllabroad), employee of private / government institutions and the general public. The increase in utilization of GWUF area is related very closely with management efforts which have been conducted by Faculty of Foresty (IPB) since being granted with mandate to manage the forest since the year 1968, up to the present time. Dynamics and the rise and fall of management occurring during that period were in line with its development process and the technology and innovation being used in the management.
Referring to its history, the management of this University Forest was initiated in the year 1959, when Faculty of Forestry (IPB) was still in the form of Department of Forestry within Faculty of Agriculture, University of Indonesia. In the year 1959, an experimental forest was established in Darmaga as large as 50 Ha, followed by development of Forestry Campus in Darmaga. Ideally, Faculty of Forestry should be surrounded by forests, so that learning and teaching activities could run properly, especially in relation with learning the model of sustainable forest management in the field. This experimental forest, as large as 50 Ha was still considered not sufficient, so that in the year 1960, there was initiation to develop Education Forest in Pasir Madang, as large as 500 Ha. However, after being planted as large as 50 Ha, the land was taken over by PT Tjengkeh Indonesia.
In the year 1963, Faculty of Forestry (Bogor Agricultural University) was established, together with the establishment of Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), as a manifestation of agricultural higher education development of University of Indonesia, to become self supporting and independent higher education for Agriculture. Realizing the importance of availability of education forest for the success of forestry education, in the year 1967, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) conducted cooperation with provincial government of West Java, and Directorate General of Forestry (Ministry of Agriculture) to utilize the forest area of Gunung Walat as Education Forest. As a consequence of that attempt, in the year 1968, the forest territory of Gunung Walat started to be developed and managed by Faculty of Forestry (IPB).
The legal and formal basis of management of GWUF which occupies state forest territory, developed in accordance with the prevailing situation of the government. The chronology of legality status of GWUF management could be described as follows:
- – Year 1969: There was issuance of Decree of West Java Chief of Provincial Forestry Office No. 7041/IV/2/69, dated 14 October 1969 which declared that Gunung Walat Forest Territory as large as 359 was appointed as Education Forest (University Forest), whose management was delegated to Faculty of Forestry (IPB).
- – Year 1973: There was issuance of Decree of Director General of Forestry No. 291/DS/1973, dated 24 January 1973, concerning Management of Gunung Walat University Forest. Afterwards, on 9 February, there was a signing of Agreement Document for Lending and Utilization of land of Gunung Walat University Forest by Chief of West Java Provincial Forestry Agency and IPB Rector. In accordance with Decree of Agriculture Minister No. 008/Kpts/DJ/I/1973, afterwards, IPB obtained utilization rights over Gunung Walat University Forest. Since then, structurally, GWUF was the subordinate of Unit of Experimental Field of IPB for duration of 20 years (Fahutan IPB, 2001).
- – Year 1992: Forestry Minister issued Decree No. 687/Kpts-II/1992 dated 24 January 1993, concerning the appointment Gunung Walat Forest Complex, as large as 359 ha, in Sukabumi district, West Java province, to become education forest (university forest). The management of Gunung Walat Forest territory, as large as ± 359 Ha as education forest, was conducted jointly by Faculty of Forestry (Bogor Agricultural University) and Center for Forestry Training and Education /Forestry Training Agency (BLK) Bogor.
- – Year 2005: Forestry Minister, issued Decree No.188/Menhut-II/2005 dated 8 July 2005, concerning appointment and establishment of Limited Production Forest Territory of Gunung Walat Education Forest Complex as large as 359 ha as Forest Territory with Specific Purpose (KHDTK) for Education and Training Forest for period of 20 years, whose management is delegated to Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural University.
- Year 2009 : GWUF was established by Forestry Minister, through Decree of Menhut No. 188/Menhut-II/2005 Jo SK Menhut No.702/Menhut-II/2009, as Forest Territory with Specific Purpose (KHDTK) for Education and Training Forest, whose management is delegated to Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural University.