Indonesia: WWF initiates green economy in Kalimantan conservation area

Severianus Endi Jakarta Post 25 Apr 16;

Conservation group World Wildlife Fund ( WWF ) branches in Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia are collaborating with local administrations in Kalimantan to initiate a green economy scheme in the Heart of Borneo, the island’s rain forest conservation area.

The NGO-government collaborative program will run from this year through to 2019.

West Kalimantan-chapter WWF Indonesia program manager Albert Tjiu said as the first stage of the program, the conservation group was identifying the activities of people living in forest areas in Kapuas Hulu regency, West Kalimantan, that could be the targeted by the program.

“People living in areas around the forest must be empowered so that they still can benefit from natural resources while at the same time, continue to pay close attention to the sustainability of their environment. This is what we call a green economy,” Albert told

To realize the plan, WWF branches in the three countries, supported by the International Climate Initiative ( ICI ) from Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, launched the Green Economy in the Heart of Borneo program in Putussibau, Kapuas Hulu, on April 19.

Kapuas Hulu, which covers 29,842 square kilometers, is the upstream area of 14 regencies and municipalities in West Kalimantan. It is more than 800 kilometers away from the province’s capital, Pontianak. Kapuas Hulu has two conservation areas, namely Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum national parks.

“The green economy program will be focused on the southern part of Kapuas Hulu, which includes seven districts. In the program, WWF and its project associates in Kalimantan local administrations will provide assistance to small business owners for the development of prime commodities, such as rice, rubber and forest honey,” said Albert.

All areas in Kapua Hulu regency are part of the Heart of Borneo, a conservation program initiated by three countries, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, which was initiated in 2007. The Heart of Borneo is a 220,000 square kilometer rainforest area that spans the three countries. In Indonesia, the Heart of Borneo covers four provinces, namely Central, East, North and West Kalimantan.

Kapuas Hulu regent AM Nasir said since 2003, the regency had declared itself a conservation regency. More than a half of the regency is covered by forest.

“I hope all NGOs working here can directly address the basic needs of the people so that they can feel the benefits of the program within a short period of time,” said Nasir, adding that Kapuas Hulu was still categorized a disadvantaged region.

WWF says the Green Economy program aims to integrate greenhouse gas emission reduction, biodiversity conservation, environmentally friendly economic development, the improvement of local people’s livelihoods and the development of industries such as ecotourism.

The program will be carried out in Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan and Sri Aman and Kapit, two areas in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Along with the Green Economy program, the West Kalimantan-chapter of WWF Indonesia is finishing its forest restoration program in Kapuas Hulu, which began in 2010. The restoration program, which is aimed at enriching food sources for orangutans, mobilizes people to plant trees over an area spanning around 1,000 hectares.

WWF West Kalimantan program officer Hendrizias Mono said the program managed to restore around 791 hectares of land in five villages in Batang Lupar district. Almost 80 percent of forest fruits consumed by people were part of the tradition diet of orangutans. ( ebf )

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