"Contributing to jurisdictional efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)"
Mega rice project.
In 2015, peat fires across Indonesia sickened half a million people and spewed more carbon into the atmosphere than the entire U.S. economy during the same two-month period. Central Kalimantan was the worst hit. The reason for this was the launch a Mega Rice Project which was initiated in 1996 in a bid to to alleviate Indonesia's growing food shortage. The Indonesian government made a large investment in constructing irrigation canals and removing trees. About 1 million hectares of agricultural land from Kalimantan's peat swamps were used for the project. Because of the nutrient-peat soil which is not usable for rice cultivation the Mega Rice Project turned out to be a disaster and leaving behind a dried-out waste land which is vulnerable to fires that continue to break out on a massive scale.
The peat swamp forest in the south of Kalimantan is an unusual ecoregion that is home to many unique or rare species such as orangutans, as well as to slow-growing but valuable trees. The peat swamp forest is a dual ecosystem, with diverse tropical trees standing on a 10m - 12m layer of peat - partly decayed and waterlogged plant material - which in turn covers relatively infertile soil. In order to restore the peat land replanting of trees is undoubtedly necessary.
"This project is twofold, namely it's about restoration of the peat lands and it establishes a sustainable value chain for independent smallholders and communities."
Peatland protection via Melaleuca Cajuputi.
One of the tree species that is able to grow in very moist and saline conditions and acid-sulphate soils and peat soils in the coastal regions is Gelam (Melaleuca Cajuputi). Therefore this project is twofold, namely it's about restoration of the peat lands and it establish a sustainable value chain for independent smallholders and communities around a processing facility that is committed to buying from smallholders practicing sustainable management of Gelam. The business model for this timber is based on establishing sound ownership of the resource through farm forestry that could include carbon farming.
The Gelam in Central Kalimantan is produced mainly in Pulang Pisau with most coming from village forests, forest estate land (KPH) or non forest land (APL). Most of the Gelam timber products are produced by small groups of independent smallholders. Collectors obtain poles and logs from a number of producers and transport them to processors or sawmills located in Banjarmasin.
At present very few smallholder producers are involved in processing in Pulang Pisau or practice any form of sustainable management of the resource, so there is a large scope for investment. Establishing support for independent Gelam producers in Pulang Pisau will enable better value adding opportunities directly while supporting environmental sustainability and the district moving towards a green growth economy. Gelam produces Cajupit essential oil, Gelam honey and sawn-timber or poles.
Click here for the area map of the Pulang Pisau district.
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Last updated: March, 2020