Borneo Nature Foundation Launches ‘One Million Trees’ Project

Article By Yohanes Prahara, BNF’s Content Creator and Media Liaison

February 25, 2021 — Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) has launched an exciting new project to plant one million trees over the next five years in the Sebangau Forest, Central Kalimantan. This project is an effort to restore the ecological function of the burned areas of the forest.

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BNF International Executive Director Simon J Husson said that the one million tree project will be implemented in stages, starting in the area of the Natural Peat Forest Laboratory (LAHG) Sebangau. In its implementation, BNF collaborates with the Center for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP) UPR and Sebangau Forest National Park.

“The planting of one million trees is aimed at restoring the ecological function of the Sebangau forest, especially in terms of carbon sequestration and habitat restoration for endangered species, such as orangutans, for various reasons, mainly due to forest fires and illegal logging in the past,” said Simon.

Based on the results of BNF’s scientific research over the last few years, it is estimated that there are 65 species of mammals, 172 birds, 11 amphibians, 46 reptiles, and 55 fish. 22 of the vertebrate species are endemic, and 6 mammal species are endangered. There is also a population of 6000 critically endangered orangutans, living in the Sebangau area.

In order to support and succeed in achieving the goal of planting one million trees, BNF also carries out various community empowerment activities for habitat protection and sustainable development. These outreach activities help build multi-stakeholder networks to increase community involvement in reforestation activities, and encourage the participation of women, promoting a green economy for local communities, and helping to alleviate poverty.

A member of the Sabaru Community Nursery preparing seedlings for planting in the Ruslan area, Sebangau, Central Kalimantan.
Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF | UPT LLG CIMTROP

40,000 Seedlings

As part of the implementation phase of the one million trees project, in March and April 2021, 40,000 tree seedlings will be planted in a 100 hectare burnt area of the Ruslan LAHG Sebangau forest. This is a continuation of the habitat restoration efforts made by BNF in 2020, whereby 50,600 seedlings were planted across 50 hectares.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of BNF Indonesia, Yunsiska Ermiasi said that planting 40,000 tree seedlings in a 100 hectare area was also part of BNF’s efforts to expand the planting area, increase the number of existing seedlingss, and increase the capacity of the Kereng Bangkirai and Sabaru community nurseries to support reforestation and activities.

“This planting event is supported by donors from various countries who have the same hope, namely in the form of ongoing reforestation efforts in the peat area in Sebangau,” she said.

BNF Nursery Officer, Koesmyadi added, of the 40,000 tree seedlings that will be planted in March, as many as 20,000 tree seedlings have already been mobilized to the nursery area. Meanwhile, the rest is still in process. The seedlings are taken directly from the forest before being raised in the nursery until they are ready for planting.

Locally grown tree species to be planted include; belangeran (Sorea belangeran), prupuk (Lophopetalum sp.), tempohot (Syzigium sp.), jambu-jambu (Eugenia sp.), gerunggang (Cratoxylon arborescens), papung (Sandoricum beccanarium), tabaras (Stemonorus scorpioides), and patanak galeget (Eleocarpus sp.).

All reforestation activities carried out in Sebangau forest are thanks to the support of The Keeling Curve Prize, Trillion Trees Initiative, Arcus Foundation, Christmas Tree World, Darwin Initiative, Disney Conservation Fund, Eurofins Foundation, Fondation Franklinia, Global Wildlife Conservation, Orangutan Appeal UK, Orangutan Conservancy, Orangutan Outreach, RRC EA Wetlands, The Orangutan Project, and Fondation Le Pal Nature.

A Community Nursery member holding a seedling in the Kereng Bangkirai nursery, Palangka Raya City.
Photo by Yohanes Prahara | BNF

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