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The Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project (the Katingan Project) is based on the premise that we can still save large areas of peat swamp forest in Indonesian Borneo, offer local people sustainable sources of income, tackle global climate change—and base this on a solid business model. What defines us is a no-nonsense, transparent and result-oriented approach to land-use and conservation in a part of the world where this is needed most.

At its core, the project is financed by what it achieves in terms of sequestering and avoiding the emissions of carbon dioxide. This part of the project is managed by an Indonesian company, PT. Rimba Makmur Utama, through an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (Minister of Forestry Decree SK 734/Menhut-II/2013) granted by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. This central business model works such that the benefits are passed on to local communities, the local region and the wider State of Indonesia in which it operates.

The Katingan Project protects the peat swamp forest; it does not throw a fence around it and 'close' it. By respecting local land tenure, both legal and de facto, the project holds the basic principle that access to the forest will remain open to those forest-dependent communities that have traditionally used it.


The peat forest in Katingan contains significant amounts of carbon that would be released to the atmosphere if the land is not protected from conversion. In fact, in the absence of the Katingan Project, part or all of the forest area would almost certainly be degraded and converted to plantation forest or non-forest at some point in the future.

The Katingan Project has invested substantial resources into calculating the amount of carbon stored in the concession area and the amount of carbon it prevents to be released to the atmosphere, with a view to issuing carbon credits on the global market. The project is performance-based, in that the proponents only receive funding if the ecological integrity of the project area is maintained, and they succeed in preventing emissions from deforestation, forest fires, and peat decomposition.

How ecosystem restoration works

Carbon in Peat

Peat swamp forests store massive amounts of carbon, with stocks below the ground making up to 20 times the amount of carbon stored in trees and vegetation. When cleared, drained and burned to make way for plantations, this carbon is released into the atmosphere. By 2020, the conversion of peat forests into plantations in Kalimantan could contribute to around 20% of Indonesia’s emissions.

It is estimated that the full 200,000 ha of the project concession area contains about 1 gigaton of carbon. If converted to plantations, the area could release up to 9 million tons of CO2e a year (over a 30 year period), which is equivalent to the emissions of 1.6 million cars.

The Katingan Project is an effort to conserve the integrity of remaining peat forests in Kalimantan, playing a crucial role as Indonesia sets out to fulfill its emission reduction commitments in the years ahead.




The Katingan Project was founded, and is managed by PT Rimba Makmur Utama. The project is made possible thanks to our collaboration with the following organizations and companies.


► Permian Global

Permian Global is an investment firm dedicated to the protection and recovery of natural forests to mitigate climate change. The company consists of experts from the fields of science, forest conservation and asset management, who are committed to create the best possible forest carbon projects in order to help address climate change. In so doing, Permian aims to make a transformational impact on vulnerable communities, habitats and wildlife in some of the poorest regions of the world. Find out more

► Puter Foundation

Puter Foundation (Yayasan Puter) is a not-for-profit organization based in Bogor with the core mission to develop and implement innovative approaches in people-based planning processes. The foundation leads the Katingan Project activities that relate to community development. Find out more

► Wetlands International

Wetlands International is an international NGO dedicated to maintaining and restoring wetlands—for their environmental values as well as for the services they provide to people. The organization works through a network of offices, partners and experts, with financing by governments and private donors, and membership. Find out more

► Starling Resources

Starling Resources is an Indonesia-based consulting group consisting of business, community planning, conservation, and finance specialists. The company is committed to designing solutions that address economic, social and environmental concerns with regard to the management of natural resources in Indonesia and throughout the Asia Pacific region. Find out more

► The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop)

The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project works to protect some of the most important areas of tropical rainforest in Borneo, including the peat swamps of Sabangau, home to the world's largest orangutan population. The NGO monitors the behavioural ecology of the forest's flagship ape and cat species, carries out biodiversity and forestry research, and works with local partners to develop conservation solutions and improve capacity for conservation in the region. Find out more

► Emily Readett-Bayley

Emily Readett Bayley
Emily Readett-Bayley is a British 'ecoluxe' design pioneer who is the creator of two unique brands. One consists of original furniture and accessories made from salvaged Indonesian hardwoods & natural, unprocessed wild rattans which is part of an important climate change and sustainable forest management initiative in the lowland peat forests of Katingan. Find out more


The following partners have also played a role in the project getting to where it is today, and their support has been gratefully received.

► Clinton Climate Initiative

The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) implements programs that create and advance solutions to the root causes of climate change – while also helping to reduce reliance on oil, saving money for individuals and governments, creating jobs, and growing economies. CCI programs aim to increase energy efficiency through building retrofits; to increase access to clean energy technology and deploy it at the government, corporate, and homeowner levels; and to reverse deforestation by preserving and regrowing forests. Find out more

► Photovoices

Photovoices International is an international program that provides cameras and photography training for people to document important issues in their lives (such as the state of the natural environment), what they value about traditional culture, and to record community strengths and challenges. Find out more
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