BNF’s 2020 Highlights

Year Review

2020 has been a tough year for many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the world. BNF is also still struggling to carry out activities and programs under local restrictions but must continue for the sake of the sustainability of the ongoing program, habitat preservation, and the sustainable livelihoods of local communities.

Here, we have highlighted some of our key activities during 2020, and many more activities and interesting stories can be read through our official website.

1. Keeling Curve Prize

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) was chosen as one of 10 winners of the Keeling Curve Prize 2020, an Aspen Colorado-based program that awards money annually to innovative global warming mitigation projects. 

BNF were awarded this prize to conserve peat forest areas in Kalimantan, particularly in Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest. The main objectives for this project include reforestation through replanting of peatlands that have been degraded due to fires or clearance. Second, developing community participation-based conservation activities, such as patrolling forest areas with Community Patrol Team, and developing forest conservation education and training activities. Third, the construction of dams to block canals to rewet drained forests and assist in natural regeneration of peatlands, and fourth, to support scientific research activities.

BNF is the only institution from Indonesia to receive the Keeling Curve Prize 2020 and is also one of only two institutions based in Asia to receive this award. 

The Keeling Curve Prize is awarded annually to 10 new or ongoing climate change mitigation projects across a wide range of sectors such as finance, transport and mobility, and social and cultural pathways. The prize is named after Charles David Keeling, the climate science researcher who created the Keeling Curve graph which tracks the concentration of global atmospheric carbon dioxide from 1958 to the present day.

The Keeling Curve Prize 2020 Laureates

2. UpLink Trillion Trees Challenge 2020

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) won two awards at the UpLink Trillion Trees Challenge 2020 that culminated at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit. On the 21st-24th September 2020, six finalists presented their ideas to a multi-stakeholder panel of judges.

In the announcement on Thursday 24th September 2020, Chineyenwa Okoru Onu, Global Shaper of Accra Hub, representing the panel of judges, revealed the three winners of the UpLink Trillion Trees Challenge: Inga Foundation, Reforestum & Ecosphere +, and BNF. These three winners were considered to generate innovative efforts to save forests.

The UpLink Trillion Trees Challenge was launched earlier this year and has sourced over 250 entrepreneurial solutions looking at how to scale and accelerate forest conservation and restoration, green our cities, unlock 4IR technology for trees, and stimulate the forest economy – all of which is a contribution to deliver on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The Trillion Trees Challenge culminated at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2020.

Simon Husson presented BNF’s work to the panellists in the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit (left); The UpLink Trillion Trees Challenge 2020 and People Choice Award Announcement (right).

3. #EnterTheWildeverse

We are proud to announce that Borneo Nature Foundation is featured in a wildlife conservation mobile game called ‘Wildeverse,’ which has been released around the world. The new game uses Augmented Reality for players to protect the worlds last remaining jungles and the endangered apes who call it their home.

Internet of Elephants, also known as “animal-loving gaming geeks”, have been working in partnership with Borneo Nature Foundation, Goualougo Triangle Ape Foundation, Zoo Atlanta and Chester Zoo over the past 2 years to create Wildeverse. The team from the Internet of Elephants visited our conservation projects and met with BNF staff in Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest back in 2018. The game was inspired by what they saw and who they met on their visit.

As a result, the wildlife we are working to protect and the conservationists who work tirelessly to protect them are now the stars of the game. All characters that you will meet in the game, human and non-human, are real and the storylines are authentic.

BNF Scientist, Eka, is a character in Wildeverse (left) – Photo by Duncan Murrell | BNF | UPT LLG CIMTROP; Encounter Fio the orangutan from Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest, Indonesian Borneo just in your comfort home (right).

4. Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) 2020

After going through various stages of the selection process, Fajar Rizky Dwi Yulianto and Dimas Teja Kusuma, Faculty of Agriculture students majoring in Forestry from University of Palangka Raya (UPR), were selected for the Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) 2020. The scholarship is provided by the Orangutan Republik Foundation (OURF) and organized by Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) Indonesia together with UPR. This was awarded to the students on the 12th of October 2020.

Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Palangka Raya University Sosilawaty, BNF Deputy Director, Agnes Ferisa, and University of Palangka Raya officials with OCS recipient students Fajar Rizky Dwi Yulianto and Dimas Teja Kusuma.

5. Anak Sebangau Festival

Borneo Nature Foundation’s Education Team held the Anak Sebangau Festival 2020 online via a zoom webinar due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities were carried out virtually with 30 children from Kereng Bangkirai who are members of Anak Sebangau, and 15 children from the Sebangau Rangers group.

A zoom webinar event Anak Sebangau Sebangau Festival 2020 organized by the Borneo Nature Foundation Indonesia.

6. MoU with the Pulang Pisau District government 

This year, BNF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pulang Pisau district government on Research Collaboration, Conservation and Community Empowerment. The scope of cooperation includes: institutional strengthening cooperation, protection and safeguarding of peat and kerangas forest areas, flora and fauna research, ecosystem restoration, environmental awareness, ecotourism and educational development, and productive economic development.

Pulang Pisau Regent Edy Pratowo together with the Head of Borneo Nature Foundation Indonesia signing the MoU. Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF

7.  Technical Cooperation Agreement with CIMTROP

On the 3rd August 2020, UPT LLG CIMTROP together with the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement (PKS) for the period 2020 – 2022 at the UPT LLG CIMTROP Office. This agreement continues the cooperative partnership that has been active for a dozen years.
The meeting also covered several additional points in the technical cooperation agreement. UPT LLG CIMTROP continues to work together, develop projects, and resolve any problems that arise. The signing was attended by the Head of UPT LLG CIMTROP Dr. Darmae Nasir, M.Si, MA, Ph.D and his staff, and the Head of Borneo Nature Foundation Indonesia, Juliarta Bramansa Ottay and his staff. The event was kept brief considering the prevailing protocols regarding Covid-19.

The signing of the Technical Cooperation Agreement between BNF and UPT LLG CIMTROP at the UPT LLG CIMTROP Office, Palangka Raya University. Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF

8. BNF Magazine Natura

BNF successfully launched its first edition of Natura at the end of October 2020. Natura is a magazine owned by BNF which is planned to be published every three months in print and online.

The purpose of this magazine is to publicise BNF’s activities and work, as well as disseminating BNF’s ideas and research results into one publication, using a popular writing style so that it is easily understood by the audience.

The magazine concept was chosen because this platform was deemed appropriate to accommodate BNF’s need for periodical media, which not only contains brief news and activities, but can also accommodate ideas, and research results that are presented in a concise and accessible manner, without loosing its aspects of factuality, actuality, and depth.

BNF Magazine content consists of text in the form of news, opinion, and features, supported by appropriate visual content such as photos, infographics, and illustrations.

The main topic of this first edition is “Preventing Forest Fires”. With the massive scale of forest and land fires, it is hard to deny it is the biggest natural disaster threatening Central Kalimantan. It is important to remind all parties to build integrated steps and preparation to mitigate the impacts of fire and ensure these disasters are not repeated in the future.

Please enjoy reading this magazine.

BNF Magazine: Natura

9. Kelulut honey and Indigenous Community (MHA) in Rungan Landscape

BNF’s activities in the Rungan Landscape have resulted in a lot of community development progress, including cultivation of kelulut honey, community socialization, fish ponds as a sustainable alternative to improving the local economy, and gardening of food crops for permaculture. BNF’s Social Forestry team has facilitated verification and validation as well as outreach regarding the Mungku Baru Indigenous Community (MHA) which was carried out by the MHA committee of Palangka Raya, as a manifestation of protecting and preserving ancestral forests that are under threat.

The Head of the Village Forest Management Institute (LPHD) Tambak Afendi and residents are harvesting Kelulut honey in one of the cultivation sites in Tambak Village, Banama Tingang District, Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan. Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF

10. Reforestation, Rewetting, and Regeneration

In the midst of the pandemic, the BNF Conservation Team is still working to preserve nature in Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest. In 2020, 50,000 seedlings have been planted with the aim of re-greening and restoring areas that had been burnt in previous forest fires. In addition, the construction of 50 dams has also been carried out throughout 2020, which aims to keep peatlands wet, thereby reducing the risk of fire.

In the following years, there will be more seed planting and dam construction to restore habitats and ecosystems in Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest, especially in the Natural Peat Forest Laboratory (LAHG).

Nursery staff watering the seedlings in Ruslan’s nursery, thousands of seedlings were successfully planted from here (left); A number of field staff are working on the construction of a dam at Canal H. Ijaz Sungai Bakung (right). Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF

11. Workshop Forest and Land Fires

To mitigate the peat fire disasters in Central Borneo, Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) together with the Center for International Cooperation on Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatlands (CIMTROP), organized training activities for peat fire suppression and the use of thermal imaging drones for the community. The training session was held on the 2nd and 3rd of September 2020, at Palangka Raya University (UPR).

The training activity was attended by around 30 participants from various community organizations and representatives of institutions in the Central Kalimantan region, especially Palangka Raya, such as the Pahandut Police, Fire Care Society (MPA), Mapala UPR, Manggala Agni, UPR Karhutla Task Force, CIMTROP Patrol Team, Fire Attack Team (TSA) in Palangka Raya, Mapala Sylva, Mapala Figure, UPR Student Regiment, Medical Faculty UPR as Medical Assistance Team.

Patrol Team CIMTROP and Community Firefighters Team (MPA) provided training for drilling wells and fire fighting (left); BNF Conservation Team provided training on the use of drones as a tool to monitor fires (right). Photo by Ferdinandus Eko | BNF

12. BIYC 2020 “Creating Kindness Campaign”

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF), in collaboration with Bina Cita Utama (BCU) School, hosted the second Borneo Initiatives Youth Camp (BIYC) 2020 on 28th February – 1st March at the Rungan Sari Complex, Palangka Raya, Central Borneo.

The participants came from BCU School Palangka Raya, BNF Education Programmes, BINUS Simprug Jakarta, Green School Bali, Peachblossom School Bekasi, SMAN 1 Palangka Raya, SMAN 2 Palangka Raya and SMAN 4 Palangka Raya.

BIYC is held with the intention of spreading knowledge, sharing experiences, and inspiring young people to find practical solutions to the global issues that concern them. The themes raised included “Be Nice to Each Other”, “Campaigns to Create Good” and “Be Good to the Environment”.

Group photo of all the participants and BIYC committee (left); Creating a kindness campaign workshop with Bjorn Vaughn (right).
Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF