Palangka Raya, 25th March 2021 – The process of restoring the Sebangau National Park’s peat swamp forest ecosystem continues, through intensive planting for reforestation. Together, the Sebangau National Park Agency (BTNS), the Directorate General of KSDAE, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), and Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF), will expand the planting area and upscale the production and growth of endemic tree seedlings for planting in Sebangau National Park, Central Kalimantan.
According to the Head of the Sebangau National Park, Andi M. Kadhafi, S.Hut, M.Si, the tree planting efforts carried out by Sebangau National Park and BNF are to optimally support the ecosystem restoration targets set in the Sebangau National Park area. Areas that are targeted for recovery include areas that were degraded by forest fires, and areas that were exposed after logging activities during the concession period (HPH) prior to the National Park designation.
“Formerly, Sebangau National Park was an ex-HPH concession with a large area of open ex-forest fires. Therefore, it is necessary to intervene. If we only wait for ecosystem restoration with natural succession, it will take time and a long process, so it needs intervention, especially in areas that are already open” he said, Thursday (25/3/2021).
Andi added that the existing seeds in BNF’s local community nurseries reached 100,000 seeds, and will continue to grow to correspond to the areas needing to be planted. These planting locations are currently being identified and mapped by Sebangau National Park.
“This year, the target is that BNF will add three new nurseries for planting in the TNS with endemic plant species,” he added.
In order to support these efforts, in addition to increasing the number of seedlings, BNF will add more community groups to assist with nurseries through community empowerment schemes. BNF is currently seeking funding from stakeholders so that it can accelerate this project and strengthen ecosystem restoration in Sebangau National Park.
BNF Nursery Officer Koesmyadi explained, currently BNF has created two new Community Nursery (CN) groups in Kereng Bangkirai and Sabaru Kelurahan. Each group has eight members who will collect local plant seeds, care for seedlings, and assist the planting process.
“For CN Sabaru, 50% of the members are women who are housewives. It is hoped that this can help the economy of the local community, most of whom work at home,” he explained.
The addition of this CN is also expected to accelerate the process of generating seedlings for the One Million Trees program over the next five years, as well as maximizing the community development process carried out by BNF with local communities.
“We and our partners are working hard to add local plant seeds and are racing against time because the dry season is approaching, which is feared by forest fires. It is quite difficult to find native plant seeds because we usually take the seeds directly from the forest,” he concluded.
In 2020, BNF launched the One Million Trees project to restore the Sebangau National Park’s peat forest ecosystem. As many as 50,600 tree seedlings were planted in 2020, and in April 2021 there will be another 40,000 trees planted. This planting event is a collaboration between BNF and BTNS and the Center for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP), supported by various donors.
The Sebangau peat forest ecosystem restoration program was organized with the support from Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Sebangau National Park, The Keeling Curve Prize, Uplink / Trillion Trees, Arcus Foundation, Christmas Tree World, Darwin Initiative, Disney Conservation Fund, Eurofins Foundation, Forest, Smoothie, Foundation Franklinia, Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), Orangutan Appeal UK (OAUK), Orangutan Conservancy, Orangutan Outreach, RRC EA Wetlands and The Orangutan Project (TOP).
Written by Yohanes Prahara, BNF’s Content Creator and Media Liaison