Share
icons/twitter.png icons/facebook.png icons/gplus.png

Saving the Indonesian peat forests, one basket at at time

15 May 2014
The Katingan Project — which caught the eye of Harrison Ford — pairs a basket-making business with the project's efforts to restore valuable ecosystem, employing local villagers along the way.
In the first episode of the Showtime global warming series "Years of Living Dangerously," Harrison Ford investigates the widespread deforestation of peat swamp forests in Borneo, the worldwide implications of this loss, and the inability of the Indonesian government to do much to stop it. But the situation is not entirely bleak, thanks in part to the efforts of the Katingan Project.

 

"Peatland forests in Borneo have been the target for conversion for oil palm plantations, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions in addition to loss of biodiversity," says Rezal Kusumaatmadja, COO of the Katingan Project, which aims to restore a 200,000-hectare peat swamp forest in Indonesian Borneo. "The project aims to reduce carbon emissions, protect biodiversity and create sustainable economic development opportunities that improve the lives of rural communities. It's based on the premise that we can still save large areas of peat swamp forest, 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."

 

Peat swamp forests store huge amounts of carbon, so when these lands are cleared and burned, the carbon is released into the atmosphere. At its core, the project is financed by what it achieves in terms of sequestering and avoiding the emissions of carbon dioxide, according the website.

 

Although it began in 2008, The Katingan Project got its ecosystem restoration license from the Ministry of Forestry in late 2013 via a partnership with the Indonesian company PT Rimba Makmur Utama or PT RMU, which grants the tenure rights to protect and restore 108,00 hectares of peat swamp for 60 years. "PT RMU has been working with partners to develop community livelihood programs, restore the ecological integrity of the forests through planting of native tree species, prevent forest fires, etc.," says Kusumaatmadja.

 

A smaller but equally important part of the Katingan Project is providing livelihood alternatives for the local villagers to replace illegal logging, and that's where Emily Readett-Bayley comes in. Her 15 years of work with a Balinese rice farming cooperative and background in designing and marketing ethically sourced handicrafts and furniture fit right in with the project's mission.

Related Articles

Katingan Project is Featured in Years of Living Dangerously TV series
Harrison Ford may be no stranger to cutting his way through jungles, but in September 2013 his trip to the Katingan Project concession in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, was an eye-opener on the potential of peat swamps to mitigate the impacts of global warming while helping local communities.
Green Firm Sees Forest Communities as Equal Partners
A green entrepreneur and his forest conservation company are leading the way with a business model that is not just green and sustainable but has the backing and involvement of the community. Dharsono Hartono, president director of Rimba Makmur Utama, has invested in a restoration project consisting of 217,000 hectares of forest in Katingan.
Restorasi, Berjuang Sejak dari Perizinan
Senin (9/9/2013) kantor Kementerian Kehutanan, kedatangan bule gaek yang populer di jagat hiburan. Berjas hitam ditemani dua asisten, dialah Harrison Ford, aktor Holywood yang terkenal lewat perannya di film Indiana Jones dan Star Wars.
Close x

Get News from Us

Stay updated with what is happening with the Katingan Project by signing up to our occasional email updates.