Campaign manager: Eddy Santosa
Partner: Yayorin Orangutan
If you are fortunate enough to make your way to the fabled island of Borneo and travel by boat and truck 12 hours to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, you will find yourself at ground zero for the future of local forest conservation.
The treasure worth saving in Lamandau is roughly 80,000 hectares of mostly lowland peat swamp forest in and around the Reserve, which provides critical habitat for nine of Borneo’s thirteen species of primates. Slash and burn agriculture, oil palm development, and illegal logging threaten to irreversibly destroy these forests and their abundance of biodiversity, including the threatened orangutan. Rare’s local partner Yayorin Orangutan is running a Pride campaign led by Eddy Santoso, a rising conservation leader in his community.
Progress on the campaign…
Eddy has surpassed (and now increased by 20%) his goal of converting half of the area’s 158 farmers from slash and burn agriculture to more sustainable agroforestry practices. Forest fires have been reduced from 350 in 2008 to 40 in 2009. The campaign created successful local demonstration gardens, run by volunteers, and requests are coming in for additional gardens in surrounding communities. Equally important is the fact that Eddy’s supervisor has been very impressed with the improved skills Eddy has gained from Pride – tasking him with training other Yayorin staff and starting to see him as a likely candidate to one day take his place leading the organization.
In addition to the traditional campaign in Lamandau, Rare continues to pilot a community carbon model, with the goal of establishing financial compensation in return for forest protection. In practice, this has meant multiple workshops in communities surrounding the Reserve to educate farmers and local leaders about carbon sequestration and how local people might benefit from a carbon market-driven model. Simultaneously,
Rare is working with technical experts to:
- measure the carbon in and around the reserve;
- build long term partnerships with organizations such as the Clinton Foundation Forestry Initiative, the Indonesian government, World Wildlife Fund, and Yayorin in Lamandau;
- and with partners, work through the land-ownership, corruption, community rights, and pure logistical issues affecting the pilot’s success.