One million trees for Borneo

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    Seedling after 4 months in the nursery. © Christof Krackhardt

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    Sengon tree after 1 year. By 2019, one million trees are to be planted on unfertile land. © Christof Krackhardt

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    Pak Sander, 46 years old, small farmer and participant. © Fairventures

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    Preservation of the remaining rain forests also helps to protect the habitat of the remaining wild orang-utans. © justtravelous.com

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    Within the scope of the preparations for the annual planting phase, small farmers receive training on planting trees and plants on their own fields. © Fairventures

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    Sengon trees are particularly suitable for this purpose, as they are fully grown within 5-7 years. © Fairventures

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    Ir. Sipet Hermanto, Forestry Minister, Central Kalimantan

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    Destructive forms of land usage in Central Kalimantan: Gold mining... © Christof Krackhardt

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    ... and forest clearance to plant oil palms. © Christof Krackhardt

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    Reforestation with tropical mixed forests on degraded areas makes a contribution towards absorbing CO2. © Christof Krackhardt

The project will promote the reforestation of tropical mixed forests in degraded areas of Borneo, Indonesia. In addition to the absorption of CO2, the mixed forests also provide the local, small-scale farmers with an ecological and economical alternative to deforestation and the spread of mono-cultures like palm oil. Furthermore, preservation of the remaining rain forests also helps to protect the habitat of the remaining wild orang-utans.

775 small farmers and their families profit
775
small farmers and their families profit
355 hectares of land reforested
355
hectares of land reforested
507,500 Sengon seedlings distributed
507,500
Sengon seedlings distributed

On Borneo, the third largest island in the world, deforestation is a big problem. In rural regions in Central Kalimantan – the project region – large areas of the rain forest have already disappeared. And the remaining areas of the rain forest are under pressure from the growth in population, legal and illegal felling and also the proliferation of palm oil plantations. Many of the deforested areas in the buffer zones next to the rain forests are significantly degraded, as the thin layer of fertile earth has disappeared due to erosion and a lack of natural fertiliser. This is something that affects the indigenous people above all, who traditionally earn their livings with forestry, the utilisation of small areas through slash-and-burn methods, and the limited sale of rubber and other goods obtained from the rain forest. To ensure the indigenous people no longer have to earn their livings by cutting down trees, Fairventures together with the Borneo Institute, a charitable, local partner in Central Kalimantan, have been running the 1 Million Trees programme since 2014. The aim: By 2019, one million trees are to be planted on unfertile land.

The proliferation of palm oil plantations is threatening the indigenous people, and I am worried that all hope for a better future for us will be lost if we don’t do anything. That is why I am taking part in the 1 Million Trees programme in the village of Bereng Jun and hope that I will be able to improve the income of my family in order to provide my daughter with a better education.

Pak Sander, 46 years old, small farmer and participant

Within the scope of the preparations for the annual planting phase, local farmers receive training on planting trees and plants on their own land from local project employees. They learn how to plant mixed forests, how to plant crops between these and also about composting. Sengon trees are particularly suitable for timber, as they are fully grown within 5-7 years, and also improve the soil’s ability to absorb nitrogen. Until the trees are fully grown, and available for selling on the wood market, the planting of crops between the trees, such as rice, peanuts and vegetables, provides a suitable alternative for strengthening the family income and providing a source of food.

Each year an official information event is held in the individual project villages in order to provide further information about the programme to interested persons and also to encourage small farmers to participate. The creation of fields is like a savings plan for small farmers and their families – it makes them more resistant to unforeseeable events like illness, but also provides an investment opportunity, such as in the education of their children. Secondary school in Indonesia is not free and therefore often difficult for small farmers and their families to pay for. This sustainable cultivation of the fields provides perspectives for the future, which counteract rural depopulation.

Thanks to the establishment of nurseries, of which there are now eight in the project villages in the Gunung Mas region, the seedlings needed for the planting phase can be grown locally and centrally. The nursery operators receive training in order to enable them to take over seedling production in an independent and professional manner. At the start of each planting phase (December-February), the seedlings are distributed to the small farmers, who then plant them on the fields that they have already prepared for this. 


I am convinced that this entrepreneurial approach from Fairventures Worldwide and the Borneo Institute is suitable for the forest programme of Indonesia. It motivates the people to get involved and become the driving force behind comprehensive reforestation.

Ir. Sipet Hermanto, Forestry Minister, Central Kalimantan

Alongside these activities, a digital monitoring system is being set up to map the land of the small farmers in a GIS database, which will enable quantitative and qualitative data on the growth of the trees to be collected and evaluated and a digital platform to be established, which is transparent and barrier-free. Furthermore, the system will also enable maps of the area to be crated, which are needed to help the small farmers register their land with the land registry office. 

Fairventures is assisting along the entire value-creation chain. From educating the consumers and the trade sector, to product innovations in the processing industries, as well as with reforestation, nurseries, soil improvement and land rights.

Other positive effects are the improved dialogue with the local government of Central Kalimantan. The programme fits in with the current ’Social Forestry’ regulation from the Indonesian government, the aim of which is to hand over 12.7 million hectares of forest to local communities within the scope of the ‘Social Forestry’ concepts. The 1 Million Trees programme is to serve as a model project here. Increased gold mining in Central Kalimantan to increase income is resulting in rivers being contaminated with quicksilver, which also then contaminates drinking water. The project has an indirect influence here, as small farmers who plant mixed forests on their land no longer need to earn an additional income in gold mines.

ALREADY ACHIEVED:

  • 775 small farmers and their families have reforested 355.5 hectares of land. 
  • Around 507,500 Sengon seedlings have already been distributed to small farmers. 
  • 76 small farmers have started growing fruit and vegetables on 70 hectares of Sengon fields. 
  • 21 villages within 3 large districts in the region Gunung Mas are participating in the programme.
  • By planting mixed forests on the fields of small farmers, these farmers have been given the possibility to increase their income by 50%.
  • Increase in knowledge, networking and dialogue via participation in the largest trade fare in Jakarta.
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