We work hand in hand with local organisations to safeguard Borneo’s magnificent rainforests. In partnership with the Centre for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP) at the University of Palangka Raya, we support a Community Patrol Team, who are at the forefront of rainforest protection. The team patrols the waterways and forest across the northern Sebangau National Park to prevent illegal activities and check for forest fires. They meet with forest users in their communities to explain why such practices are no longer permitted and coordinate with the authorities if further action is needed.
The Community Patrol Team was formed in 2002 in response to a wave of rampant illegal logging that was threatening to destroy the Sebangau National Park ecosystem. It was established by young people from the neighbouring village of Kereng Bangkerai who were committed to stopping the continued exploitation of their forest heritage and protecting it for the benefit of the community. CIMTROP organised and provided initial training for the team who succeeded in stopping illegal logging in the northern Sebangau National Park within two years, quicker than was achieved in the rest of the forest.
Since 2009, we have provided funding to fully cover the patrol team’s operational costs and salaries. We also provide advice, training opportunities and equipment, including drones for detecting forest fires.
Despite its protected status, the Sebangau National Park remains at risk due to its close proximity to the regional capital of Palangka Raya where there is high demand for quality timber and for animals, or animal parts, for meat or trade. The team patrols daily to prevent the re-occurrence of illegal logging and hunting and focuses primarily on fire detection during the dry season. Working with a network of local informants helping to ensure rapid response, if a fire is spotted, fully equipped fire-fighting teams are immediately mobilised to the site of the fire.
In the coming years we will continue to improve the capacity of the patrol team by providing resources for them to recruit additional members, purchase new equipment and to facilitate training through exchanges with similar projects in other parts of Indonesia.
Forest patrol impacts