Reforestation of burnt and cleared areas is an essential part of our work. Replanting trees prevents soil erosion, restores wildlife habitats and reduces fire risks; it engages local communities in conservation; and it contributes to the global fight to stop climate change.
We have a long-term project studying reforestation in some of the most damaged rainforests of Borneo. Our research focuses on identifying the best tree species for replanting and optimal light, water and nutrient conditions for survival and growth.
We have set up two nurseries in the Natural Laboratory Peat-swamp Forest (LAHG), a special zone within the Sebangau National Park. The first contains over 3,000 trees from small seedlings to young saplings that are collected from the forest. These are nurtured in the nursery until they are ready for planting at which point they are transported to our second nursery at the reforestation site which can accommodate up to 35,000 trees.
The results from our research feed back into our seedling nursery and replanting protocols to ensure ongoing improvements and increased success of our efforts to reverse the deforestation of Borneo’s tropical rainforests.
As well as our nurseries in the Natural Laboratory Peat-swamp Forest (LAHG), a special zone within the Sebangau National Park, we have established ‘Community Seedling Nurseries’ in nearby villages. We provide training, resources, and ongoing support and advice to build and develop the nurseries. We are committed to buying up to 25,000 seedlings per year from these nurseries, and community nursery scheme members assist with replanting in Sebangau National Park. This initiative has served to engage local communities in rainforest conservation, increase awareness and encourage individual responsibility for reforestation of local habitats and preservation of natural heritage. We create jobs, promote a small-scale green economy, and use local knowledge and skills in furthering our reforestation objectives.
Since 2017, we have been using drones to carry out aerial surveys of our reforestation sites to determine the best place to plant trees and monitor the growth of seedlings and saplings. As part of our ‘One Million Trees’ project, we are investigating methods to disperse seeds over large areas using a plane, helicopter or drone flying over the target area.
We provide opportunities for young people to join reforestation activities through our local and international education programmes. Students are provided with hands-on experiences assisting our team with replanting in degraded areas of the forest as well as receiving lessons on how to save the rainforest.