Being an official member of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Working Groups (Pokjanas), Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) currently participated at the 12th Heart of Borneo Trilateral Meeting in Malaysia on 26th – 29th September 2018 as a delegation from Central Kalimantan. The three-day event that was held in Miri, Sarawak, brought together all delegates of the HoB from three collaborating countries; Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam.
Being delegated to the annual trilateral meeting in Sarawak, 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.
To date the Kalimantan forests under HoB are situated in six regencies (Katingan, Gunung Mas, North Barito, Murung Raya, Kapuas, and Seruyan). As an organization, BNF has been taking part in the initiative through its Barito Ulu Programme that has been socialised in recent month to stakeholders, local government, and private sectors in Murung Raya ‘Mura’ regency. “This is a good opportunity for BNF to get the pictures of what we’re doing, what’s going on, and how it works. It [HoB] is a structured programme with complete guidelines to promote sustainable development that later we can adopt to our Barito Ulu project” said Bernat Ripoll Capilla (Berni), BNF Field Director.
The HoB Meeting this year pushes all participating members to share fresh ideas and expertises on relevant issues. Among many important discussions were transboundary protected area management and its possible link to ecotourism and green destination development, capacity building, HoB corridor project implementation, a network of local communities to promote sustainable development and conservation in the HoB areas besides strengthening strategic collaboration between the three countries.
As widely known, HoB is a trilateral collaboration signed by three neighbouring countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam – as a conservation agreement initiative to protect Asia’s largest rainforests in Borneo. With that end, the three countries are committed to sustainable management and development of the massive forest areas within their linked Borneo territories.
As for Indonesia, the HoB is a green investment to save the future home for unique tropical flora and fauna in the mountainous higland to lowland forests of Borneo not to mention the Bornean flagship primate, orangutan, which makes an iconic image of the forest in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).