In December, BNF held a multi-stakeholder workshop on the management of the Rungan Landscape through a new social forestry scheme. The aim was to strengthen the collaboration and commitment of local stakeholders in management, that is balanced between socio-economic and ecological needs, of this large forested landscape (155,880 ha).
Incredibly, BNF has discovered a significant population of wild orangutans within the region (over 3,000 individuals); this is the largest population outside of a protected area.
However, environmental issues (illegal logging and mining, forest fires and conversion for agriculture) have been identified and need to be addressed across the Rungan Landscape in an integrative and collaborative approach by all key stakeholders. It is crucial that conservation works in synergy with the people that depend on the forest and not only for the region’s wildlife.
Social forestry schemes are on the agenda of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry to improve the welfare of communities who live near forested areas whilst supporting forest conservation and sustainability of the environment.
Government officials from three regencies in Central Kalimantan (Gunung Mas, Pulang Pisau and Palangka Raya) participated in the two-day workshop as well as private companies, NGOs and communities from the region.
During the workshop an implementation plan was developed for 2020 and agreed by all participants; including (i) the formation of a community communication forums; (ii) follow-up socialisations with stakeholders; (iii) increasing the number of community groups; (iv) acceleration of social forestry permits, (v) community group and village government capacity building; and (vi) further regional mapping.
As the future of the Rungan Landscape remains uncertain, these steps are crucial to ensure strong collaboration between all key stakeholders to develop a conservation programme balanced between social, economic and ecological interests.
A special thank you to the Arcus Foundation, Civil Society in Development (CISU), Rainforest Trust, The Orangutan Project and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) for supporting our work to protect the critical Rungan Landscape.