After a long and tiring hour, finally Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) arrived at the Seribu Riam District in the Murung Raya ‘Mura’ Regency (Central Kalimantan) that connects the local village of Muara Joloi to BNF Heart of Borneo (HoB) projected research site in Barito Ulu.
HoB is a trilateral initiative between three neighbouring countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam) that brings the mission for sustainable forest management in Asia to which BNF is the official participating member of HoB Working Group. Being a part of HoB, Barito Ulu is considered to be critical forest reserve, biodiversity trove, and livelihoods for the local people to which best management practice is deemed necessary.
The aim of the visit is to socialise BNF Barito Ulu programme to stakeholders in the Seribu Riam District which is the entrance gate to the ‘natural treasure’ of Borneo. The socialisation was attended by the key persons from the government representatives (Chief of Seribu Riam District, Forest Management Unit, Head of the Muara Joloi Administrative Villages, police officials, and local school representatives), our university partners (CIMTROP University of Palangka Raya and Palangka Raya Christian University ‘UNKRIP’), and distinguished local figures in Muara Joloi village.
The socialisation involved the formal meeting at the District Office of Muara Joloi and a forest visit to Rekit camp site. All the key representatives including BNF delivered positive presentations and speeches at the event. BNF who was represented by Dr. Mark Harrison (Co-Director) presented Barito Ulu Programme descriptions and plans which harvested huge excitement from the local communities in the Muara Joloi and Perahau Baru villages and gained support from the Forest Management Units of Murung Raya who look forward to receive the draft for Forestry Partnership Cooperation that would legitimate the cooperation between the two over more than 17 thousand acres of Barito Ulu forest for the purposes of conservation and research sites.
“It was fantastic socialisation and forest visit in Seribu Riam District, relating to development of BNF’s Programme Barito Ulu. We thank the Camat (District Chief), the villages of Muara Joloi I, Muara Joloi II and Perahau Baru for warmly receiving us, and to KPHP (Forest Management Units) Murung Raya Unit I & II, DLH (Environmental Agency), UNKRIP and UPT CIMTROP for your support. Let’s collaborate to study and protect this incredible forest!” Said Mark.
BNF has been known to participate in many HoB meetings in regional, national, and international level socialising and promoting the Barito Ulu programme which is included as the important forest reserves under HoB areas. Very recently, BNF was delegated as the only non-profit organization to represent Central Kalimantan in HoB International Trilateral Meeting in Malaysia discussing transboundary protected area management and its possible link to ecotourism, capacity building, a network of local communities to promote sustainable development and conservation in the HoB. (AE)