Les Acacias, Switzerland
01 July 2020
Borneo’s incredible rainforests are among the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. But they’re under threat from illegal logging, poaching, and deforestation for palm oil plantations. By empowering the local indigenous communities to protect the rainforests, you will help save 8,862 hectares of these precious ecosystems.
This project trains the indigenous communities to develop forest-friendly businesses, so you’ll also be helping to give them a better livelihood, which in turn makes them more able to protect the forests long into the future. It’s a win-win-win situation.
Borneo’s rainforests are estimated to be 130 million years old – that’s twice as old as the Amazon rainforest in South America. But this crucial carbon sink is being deforested at an astonishing rate, and only half of it remains today. The main driver of this is the encroachment of palm oil and timber plantations, with poaching and forest fires adding to the destruction.
This project works in two locations. The first is in West Kalimantan: Hutan Adat Rimba Perancit (HARP) forest, 1,618 hectares of forest with two palm oil plantations bordering it to the north.
The other location is on the same island of Borneo but in the province of East Kalimantan. Here, the Mului indigenous community protects 7,244 hectares of primary rainforest, 2,454 hectares of which is set aside as a sacred area, while the rest is managed and used for subsistence by the community. This area is bordered by mining and forestry concessions.
Indigenous communities can offer a long-term solution by acting as guardians of the rainforests, protecting them from illegal logging, poaching and fires. In the HARP forest, the aim is to improve the community’s livelihood through agroforestry activities carried out in the village and to give training in conservation, including fire management and forest patrols.
The Mului community, meanwhile, is being supported by a local not-for-profit organization that will host a series of training sessions and workshops, to strengthen the Mului community’s knowledge of forest protection and biodiversity monitoring.
Besides removing carbon emissions and supporting indigenous cultures, these Bornean forests are also of crucial importance for biodiversity. Through conservation work, the local communities protect at least 10 critically endangered plant species and several endangered animals, including the spiny turtle, the Bornean bearded pig, the proboscis monkey, Müllers gibbon, and the pangolin.
Everything you want to know about this project, at a glance.