What happened in 2018?

Year Review

Before another year unfolds, we are going to take stock of what we have achieved over the past 365 days of 2018. For us, it has been a year of an amazing journey to which we have invested our mind and heart in all programmes at Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) to work together with many people to protect Borneo’s incredible biodiversity and contribute to conservation, research, education, and community development. This might never happen without any support from our partners, collaborators, and friends that become our source of strengths to our works. We hope that you will keep standing by our side to protect the Borneo Forest and save the wildlife in the following years to come.

Although we do not include every single story in our one-year highlight on this page, we hope that this list could help you see a bigger picture of our tireless efforts in 2018. Here’s the top 10 list of 2018. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as our great excitement while writing it to you!

1. Establishing community-based fire-fighting teams.
By generous support from our funders, in early 2018 we were able to establish community fire-fighting teams called MPA (Masyarakat Peduli Api – fire aware community) in the villages of Sabaru and Kereng Bangkirai, these two villages are the entrance gate to the largest remaining peat-swamp forest in Indonesia, Sebangau, that is home to over 6,000 Bornean flagship apes, orangutan. The teams consist of over 50 members trained firefighters that were recruited from local communities.

We first conducted socialisation of the programme and provided various trainings to the teams to make them ready to fight land and forest fires in Borneo. Although the teams are dominated by the male members, but there are three female members joining the MPA. These brave females were also involved in helping the local government to combat recent land fires that engulfed almost the whole regions in Central Palangka Raya. We are so proud to take part in the establishment of these two groups!


2. BNF delegated to Heart of Borneo (HoB) Trilateral Meeting in Malaysia

Being launched in early 2018, BNF has now taken further step to settle Barito Ulu Programme (PBU). In this new programme, BNF attempts to conserve the spectacular and highly diverse forest of Barito Ulu region, in Borneo’s geographic center which is also known as the Heart of Borneo (HoB).

As for this programme, BNF has participated in various socialisations hosted by the governments regarding Heart of Borneo. In addition to that, being a current official member of Heart of Borneo (HoB) Working Groups, BNF was recently delegated to the 12th HoB Trilateral Meeting in Malaysia representing Central Kalimantan Working Groups. Participating in the three-day event, BNF got the opportunity to learn from the senior members of HoB regarding the project and programme updates on various projects particularly transboundary and protected area management, conservation works, and most importantly current legislation and regulation on each country.


3. The first Conservation Journalism Workshop hosted in Central Kalimantan
Lack of the coverages in the national press and media on the issues of the environmental and wildlife conservation has pushed BNF to host the first ever Conservation Journalism Workshop in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. This workshop was initiated in an attempt to encourage the local and national media to bring and voice environmental and wildlife issues on the newsroom. By doing so, it will help the public informed about what is happening around them and encourage them to take the actions.

Being led by two award-winning journalist, Sue M. Phillips (the former founding director of Al Jazeera London) and Tira Shubart (International Journalist), the workshop brought together NGOs, universities, government representatives, and journalists from all over Indonesia to discuss ways of representing the wildlife and conservation in the Indonesian press and media.

4. The acoustic project kicked off in the Sebangau peat-swamp forest
Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) has recently carried out the acoustic project in the Natural Laboratory of the Sebangau Peat-swamp Forest (NLPSF). This project is led by BNF’s researcher for biodiversity monitoring in NLPSF by having the acoustic-recording devices installed in three different forest sites; burnt area, undisturbed forest, and forest edge. These devices could capture any sound until 1 km away from the position of the recorder.

The large amounts of acoustic data will provide researchers with the acoustic data from vocal animals that will help them in assessing behaviour of those animals. Recognising the importance of this method, the acoustic project is deemed necessary to carry out in Sebangau for it will provide the picture of animals behavior and interaction through their unique sounds.


5. Research within Rungan Landscape continued
The Rungan landscape is one of Borneo Nature Foundation’s newest research sites, with rainforest covering nearly 150,000 hectares of this under-studied and highly-threatened area. Our programme aims to build a foundation to protect the forest and the biodiversity within the landscape, through partnerships with communities, industry and government stakeholders.

As part of our efforts to understand and protect this landscape we recently, began a large-scale orangutan population density survey and habitat assessment across the whole Rungan landscape. To date, we have completed surveys across 250km2 of the landscape, within the Rakumpit sub-district of Palangka Raya, in the forests surrounding the villages of Mungku Baru, and Gaung Baru. We have covered over 47km of line transect and identified 880 orangutan nests.


6. From the majestic forest of Borneo to international journals and conferences
As a part of our scientific and research contributions, this year we have published various papers in the international journals from the long-term research that we carried out in the majestic forests of Borneo. In addition to that, our researchers have also attended scholarly conferences to share their experience and expertise in primate behaviour, forest ecology, biodiversity, and Borneo’s wild cats. More information regarding our recent publications can be found in our news story or publication sections.

7. Borneo Initiative Youth Camp (BIYC)
Following our success in Global Issues Network (GIN) Kalimantan, this year we have initiated special forum called Borneo Initiative Youth Camp (BIYC) for the young generation across the globe to discuss and share ideas to arrive at sustainable future. The students were encouraged to create positive responses and sustainable solutions to the challenges we are facing in the world today. The participants got the opportunities to listen from the conservation experts, a day trp to local conservation and education projects as well as experience the indigenous culture.

You might find out the event here


8. Community Nursery Initiatives in two local villages of Sebangau
This year we kickstarted the community nursery initiative in the two villages that become the entrance gate to the Sebangau peat-swamp forest, Sabaru and Kereng Bangkirai. We are able to carry out this project by the generous support from our funder to develop local capacity to find the alternatives for their livelihoods. As for this project, we have recently established the teams for community nursery, surveyed the lands to be used for planting the seedlings, and facilitated several socialisations.


9. Community Development (ComDev) Initiative
BNF conducted participative surveys in four administrative villages of Rakumpit district, Central Kalimantan, earlier this year. Upon the completion of the surveys, we are currently facilitating local communities for permaculture training in Bukit Sua, Central Kalimantan. Through this programme, we aim at fostering the villages that become models of harmonious integration of the agriculturally productive ecosystems and local communities in sustainable way.


10. More partnerships established
2018 has been a wonderful year for us at BNF with more partnerships being established to support our efforts not only to protect Borneo’s incredible biodiversity but also to empower local communities. We have partnered with the universities, governments, schools, private sectors, and international organizations to achieve positive changes in Borneo. Through strong collaborations, we are able to carry out research and various conservation efforts in three majestic forests of Borneo which include Sebangau peat-swamp forest, Rungan forest, and Barito Ulu. Our partners also enable us to contribute toward local communities through community development programmes, and the education for the children from local villages.