Rural livelihoods in Borneo are threatened mainly by illegal logging, gold mining, and the expansion of monocultures like palm oil. Together with the local population we want to change that. Our program contributes to the protection of Borneo’s rainforests and their biodiversity and creates a new, sustainable source of food and income for the local population.
Borneo is the largest Indonesian island and the third largest island in the world. Indonesia shares this Island with Malaysia and Brunei, but holds the biggest part with 70 percent of the island’s size. This territory is called Kalimantan and consists of four provinces where the biggest of those is our program region, Central Kalimantan.
In the rural areas of Central Kalimantan large swathes of rainforest have already been cleared. Remnant rainforest is under pressure from a growing population, legal and illegal logging, and the expansion of oil palm. Many deforested areas suffer heavy erosion and the absence of natural composting means the thin layer of fertile soil is lost. Rural people are badly affected; their livelihoods depend on small-scale forestry, small areas of swidden fallow agriculture, as well as rubber and other cash crops harvested from the rainforest. Rehabilitating degraded land to near-natural and sustainable state is key to improving the livelihoods of local communities.
Over the life of the 1 Million Trees program, over 1 Million seedlings were ditributed and more than 1000 smallholders were supported. But that is just the start: With the 100 Million Trees Programm we will also plant Sengon trees on degraded, formerly deforested areas. Sengon grows very fast and strengthens the soil with its roots. Sengon is a legume, meaning it revitalizes the degraded soil with nitrogen and restores ecosystem services, such as erosion control, improving growth conditions for other types of plants. The improved soils can be used in different ways, such as mixed-timber plantings and agroforestry systems, where trees are integrated with agriculture.
The timber and fruits and vegetables that are produced in such a way, create a new source of food and income for the local population. The program also focuses on local processing companies; helping to keep more profit in the area. Sengon has excellent material properties and is well suited for the making of block-boards and furniture.
The use of fast-growing planted timber in the local wood industry substitutes for timber logged from natural forests, helping to protect Borneo’s rainforests and their biodiversity.
The 1 Million Trees Project was successfully completed in the spring of 2020 and continued directly as 100 Million Trees Project.
Check out our homepage: https://fairventures.org/en/our-work/country-program-indonesien/