The Borneo Nature Foundation’s newest programme takes a landscape approach to conservation of the Rungan River watershed, with the aim to protect this rich forest and its large resident Bornean orangutan population.
The landscape includes over 150,000 hectares of peat-swamp, freshwater-swamp and dry lowland rainforest, including substantial patches of tall ulin-dominated forest, and large populations of endangered species are thought to occur here. Despite this, the region is under-studied, highly-threatened and until recently was a conservation afterthought even though this is probably the largest relatively-intact lowland forest in Borneo that has no formal conservation project.
Our project aims to build a foundation for forest and biodiversity conservation in the Rungan River Landscape, through partnerships with communities, industry and government stakeholders across this large and important area. This is a collaborative, multi-partner, multi-stakeholder approach aimed at building momentum, identifying co-management opportunities and implementing in-situ actions to maintain forest cover. Activities include ground surveys of biodiversity throughout the forest, aerial drone surveys to map forest cover, building a research station in partnership with the Muhamadiyah University of Palangkaraya, establishing a community forest management unit, implementing programmes of environmental education and sustainable development and supporting the local village’s quest to create a protected community forest.