Rungan Agriculture Project: Conservation Through Action

Through our partnership with the Borneo Nature Foundation, we are advancing projects critical in preserving the biodiversity and ecological balance of this unique rainforest habitat.

At Forests for People, we are committed to supporting initiatives that safeguard our planet's precious ecosystems. One such initiative we are proud to partner with is the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF), whose relentless efforts make a tangible difference in the Sebangau National Park of Borneo. Through our partnership, BNF has advanced critical projects to preserve the biodiversity and ecological balance of this unique rainforest habitat.

Rungan Agriculture Project: restoring balance to peatlands

One of the cornerstone projects within BNF's portfolio is the Rungan Agriculture Project, which focuses on revitalising drained and deforested peatlands. These efforts are pivotal in mitigating the risk of forest fires, protecting endangered species like the Bornean orangutan, and fostering sustainable livelihoods for local communities. Despite challenges posed by ongoing fire outbreaks, the project has surged forward, achieving significant milestones.

During the reporting period, BNF's dedicated teams planted an impressive 137,386 trees, bolstering orangutan habitat restoration. Additionally, the construction of sixteen dams along the Rasau Canal has contributed to the critical task of rewetting the peatland forest, raising the groundwater level, and reducing the risk of fire. The success of these endeavours underscores the effectiveness of community-driven conservation efforts supported by organisations like Forests for People.

Community engagement meets sustainable livelihoods

Through our partnership with BNF, we can take an approach that extends beyond habitat restoration to encompass community engagement and capacity-building initiatives. 

Through programs like the Anak Sebangau Festival, over 570 children were engaged, fostering awareness of conservation issues and inspiring local stewardship of the environment. Furthermore, BNF's community nurseries scheme has gained momentum, with plans to establish 20 nurseries by the end of 2024, producing 250,000 seedlings for reforestation efforts.

Efforts to enhance local firefighting capacity have yielded promising results. Coordinated firefighting interventions have effectively protected vast areas of forest, with zero forest loss recorded in the target area during the reporting period. Training sessions and capacity-building workshops have equipped community members with essential skills for disaster management and forest fire mitigation.

What’s next for the Rungan Agricultural Project? 

Looking ahead, there are ambitious plans to expand reforestation efforts, establish new community nurseries, and enhance firefighting capabilities. 

By promoting peat-friendly agricultural practices and sustainable livelihoods, we aim to reduce reliance on harmful activities like logging and illegal hunting, fostering a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.


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