Reforestation: Pematang Gadung

Orangutan Outreach is proud to support the IAR Indonesia Foundation (YIARI) in the reforestation of the Pematang Gadung Community Forest. Pematang Gadung is a peat swamp forest in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) that is home to roughly 800 wild orangutans. While this forest should be flooded with water, some peat areas have drained due to land degradation through logging and the opening of canals. This has left the area highly flammable. Over eight drained areas of forest burnt in 2015 during the prolonged El Niño induced dry season. The total area burnt was over 2,100 ha. With financial support from Orangutan Outreach, YIARI is working with the local community to restore the burnt areas of forest, nurture and plant thousands of trees, build sustainable development programs for the local community, and educate people on how to protect their forests.

During a 12 month period, a total of 11,440 seedlings from 30 genera were planted. This effort covered 22 hectares and had a survival rate of 86% for all planted seedlings. Next, in just a six month period, YIARI was able to prepare the ground, nurture seedlings, and plant ~9860 trees on 16 hectares. The program is moving at an impressive rate, which will result in important benefits for orangutans and many other animals.


One element of the reforestation initiative that we are especially proud of is that YIARI trains female community members in the planting initiative. This work provides the women with additional sustainable long-term income. In addition, YIARI supports 52 local women and four men with the training, production, and purchase of eco-friendly plant pots produced from local trees. As of January 2023, about 30,000 eco-friendly plant pots (produced predominately by woman’s weaver groups), have been used for growing seedlings in the restoration project.

Additionally, 12 community members were chosen for the Fire Prevention Community Unit. A few months later an all-female Fire Prevention crew, called ‘The Power of Mama’, was established. Thanks to these village members, fire hotspot areas have been identified and fire prevention patrols have been carried out monthly. The patrols are crucial for early detection of fire locations and reducing risks from fire spreads. It takes a village to save a forest!

Learn more about our reforestation work.
Learn more about our partners: IAR/YIARI

All of this work requires much time, effort, and funding. YOU can play a part in safeguarding the Pematang Gadung region and its biodiversity. Your donations for this tremendous initiative are truly appreciated.

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