As we emerge from the pandemic, our programmes are slowly getting back on track. We have struck up new partnerships to save Borneo’s threatened rainforests, and our environmental education initiatives are being rolled out on a grand scale.
Strengthening forest management is key for both biodiversity conservation and sustainable use by local communities. At BNF, our focus this year has been on preserving the forests as a source of food and livelihoods, as well as continuing our long-term efforts to restore the peat-swamp ecosystem and protect wildlife populations.
Read on for a summary of a few key activities carried out this year:
1. Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Gunung Mas Regency Government and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Palangka Raya
The Gunung Mas Regency Government has committed to preserving the environment through a series of collaborations, one of which is with the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF). The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Regent of Gunung Mas, Jaya Samaya Monong, and the CEO of BNF Indonesia, Juliarta Bramansa Ottay, took place in Jakarta on May 23, 2022.
In addition, BNF Indonesia also entered into a Cooperation Agreement (PKS) with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA) at the University of Palangka Raya (UPR). The PKS was held on June 16, 2022 and signed separately by the Dean of FMIPA UPR, Siti Sunariyati, and the CEO of BNF Indonesia, Juliarta Bramansa Ottay.
2.Farmers’ Meeting 2022
The 2022 Farmers’ Meeting was facilitated by BNF in collaboration with the Technical Implementation Unit (UPT) of the Kahayan Tengah Production Forest Management Unit (KPHP).
The farmers came from five Watersheds (DAS): the East Barito Watershed (Tamiang Layang Sub-District), Kapuas Watershed (Mantanangai District), Kahayan Hulu Watershed (Manuhing District), Kahayan Hilir Watershed (Tuwung Village, Sigi, Petuk Liti, Bukit Liti , Bukit Bamba, Tahawa and Parahangan), and the Rungan Watershed (Mungku Baru Village, Bukit Sua, Petuk Berunai and Panjehang).
See also: Gardening – Caring for Our Surroundings
3.Wild Cat Workshop
Together with the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), BNF held a workshop on developing strategies for the conservation of wild cat species in Central Kalimantan Province, June 23, 2022.
The workshop brought together various agencies and institutions with expertise on wild cats, creating new opportunities for research and conservation in the region. Collecting information on the presence and distribution of wild cats in Central Kalimantan is an important first step, enabling us to accurately assess the threats to their survival and develop a suitable conservation strategy.
4.Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) 2022
BNF collaborated with the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forestry at the University of Palangka Raya (UPR) and the Orangutan Republik Foundation (OURF) to award this year’s Orangutan Caring Scholarships (OCS). On June 8, six forestry students from UPR were formally awarded OCS 2022. The ceremony took place at the Peat Innovation Research Centre Building (PPIG) in Palangka Raya City, as a symbol of our collective efforts to look after Borneo’s orangutans.
5.Camera Traps in Barito Ulu
Camera traps were installed as part of a biodiversity research programme in collaboration with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA. In 2022, 17 traps were installed across the Barito Ulu landscape in the remote Heart of Borneo. We hope that the data from these camera traps will reveal new insights about the island’s elusive wild cats, informing our conservation strategy going forward.
6.Forest Food Festival
The Forest Food Festival was organized by KPHP Kahayan Tengah, assisted by BNF, administrators and members of various Village Forest Management Institutions (LPHD) throughout the Kahayan Tengah District. The festival was held in Tuwung Village as a celebration of forest food, which has the power to sustain rural communities amidst the threat of a global food crisis. All manner of foraged ingredients were put on display, and several community members handed out cooked dishes for visitors to taste and enjoy. This served as a poignant reminder that, while Central Kalimantan’s forests are still rich in foodstuffs, as they slowly disappear, so too will these traditional ingredients.
7.National Nature Conservation Day (HKAN) 2022
Indonesia’s National Nature Conservation Day (HKAN) was held in West Bali National Park between 31 August and 3 September 2022, with the theme ‘Restoring Nature for a Prosperous Society’. During the event, the Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Prof. Dr. Siti Nurbaya expressed his hope that HKAN 2022 would mark a revival of the Indonesian nation in harmony with nature following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sebangau National Park Agency (BTNS) attended HKAN 2022 in partnership with BNF. This is the second time we have participated in this nationwide event, having represented our partnership with BTNS in Kupang for HKAN 2021. As such, HKAN provides a significant opportunity to strengthen our cooperation agreement with the National Park Agency.
The Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) joined forces with BNF and the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Forum (Forkah) to commemorate World Orangutan Day by hosting a two-day Orangutan Celebration event in August.
See also: Orangutans Should Live in the Forest
The event’s slogan was ‘orangutans should live in the forest’, a clear message against the trade of these Critically Endangered apes as pets. The Orangutan Celebration 2022 was attended by the Head of the Central Kalimantan Family Welfare Empowerment Team (PKK), as well as animal observer, Ivo Sugianto Sabran, and the Head of the Sebangau National Park Office, Andi M. Kadhafi. Hundreds of community members also took part in the weekend’s activities, with many signing a joint commitment to protect orangutans in their rainforest home.
9.Towards 1 Million Trees
BNF has been working with the Sebangau National Park Agency (BTNS) to achieve our goal of planting 1,000,000 trees across fire-damaged areas of the Sebangau National Park by 2025. This ambitious reforestation project was inaugurated in August 2022 to help restore the peat-swamp ecosystem.
One of the locations targeted for planting this year was Tangkiling Village in the Bukit Batu District of Palangka Raya, at a reforestation site known as Km 53. The seedlings were provided by BPDASHL Kahayan and cared for by community members in the nearby Habaring Hurung seedling nursery. In 2022, approximately 150,000 native seedlings have been planted around the Sebangau National Park, representing exciting progress towards our goal of 1 million trees.
This year, 33 dams have been built in Sebangau National Park area, with a focus on four newly identified canals along the Koran River (namely, the Betung Canal, Mawan Canal, H. Katiau Canal, and Pakudan Canal).
There are three dam designs built according to the conditions and size of the canal, including:
- Dam type 1: canal width < 1.5 meters
- Dam type 2: canal width of 1.5 – 2.5 meters
- Dam type 3 : canal width > 2.5 meters
Dam building is part of our wider ecosystem restoration strategy, re-wetting the peat to return it to its naturally fire-proof state.
See also: Dammed Peat, Healthy Peat
These ten activities are just some of the extraordinary things we have achieved with the help of our partners in 2022. In closing, we would like to add one more…
11.Anak Sebangau Festival 2022
After two years of limited engagement with our Anak Sebangau children’s club and having to bring the Anak Sebangau Festival online due to Covid-19, the pandemic has finally abated enough for festivities to be held in person again!
The Anak Sebangau Festival is a public annual event to showcase what our youth club members have learnt over the last year. The children put on a series of performances for their family and friends, including dance routines, short plays, and photo exhibitions.
From everyone here at BNF, thank you to all our partners and supporters who helped make 2022 such a special year. Together, we can build a sustainable future for Borneo’s forests.
Written by: Yohanes Prahara, Content Creator and Media Liaison BNF Indonesia