Conservation Compact B: Friendly Forest Initiative through Non-Timber Forest Products
About the Implementing organization
Name: Yayasan Planet Indonesia
Year of establishment: 2012
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Legally recognized non-profit status, Women’s association or organization, Indigenous group or organization
This project, The Friendly Forest Initiative, focuses on creating communal business groups that convert degraded lands into forests that have benefit for both humans and wildlife. Our communal business groups currently span over 50 villages in 3 different districts. These businesses are created in tandem with conservation compacts that provide incentives for the rehabilitation of degraded lands and decreasing animal poaching in nearby protected forests. Currently, over 2000 households are reached through our Friendly Forest Initiative. In 2017 alone we will plant over 40,000 seedlings and work with local women to create “cultural forests” areas of protected land that are important areas for women to harvest plants used in natural dyes for weaving products.
Forests / Wildlife
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Water security / Climate action
Currently, we are planting trees on 225 hectares of degraded lands and planting over 40,000 seedlings. Although under one initiative (The Friendly Forest Initiative), true to our model, the activities within each conservation compact and communal business group very a bit based on the village. In one area, we are creating a larger buffer zone for an important protected forest where our organization discovered Orangutans for the first time in 2016. In another district, communities are planting trees along rivers ways and wetlands to help stabilize erosion in the Danau Sentarum National Park Ecosystem. In the Sintang district, trees are planted on remnant forests within Oil Palm Plantations. Our plantings are focused on species that local women use at natural dyes in weaving. Because of these plantings the government will increase the protection status of these forest (40 hectares) to “cultural forests” which will make it illegal for oil palm companies to cut them down.
Sustainable Development Impacts
This project has a heavy emphasis on gender inclusion and no poverty. Out of the 2100 members of our communal business group over 80% are women. In Kapuas Hulu, where we are stabilizing wetlands, these trees can be used to produce a flour that women use to make a high valued commodity, fish crackers, in Indonesia. In Sintang, all 1500 members reached are women that create textiles and weaving products. When women use natural dyes in their products they can bring 5x the price. This means that we are not only plantings trees to create “cultural forests” and stop the expansion of oil palm, but are also increasing the price of products produced by women nearly 5 times. Overall, across all 52 villages we work with our program yields a 17% ERR which was calculated by our work with the Millennium Challenge Corporation in the United States.
As previously stated, this communal business group approach in tandem with a conservation compact, can be used anywhere in the world where human poverty is linked with environmental loss. Our communal business approach in tandem with these compacts helps communities overcome the opportunity costs of conservation and ensures fair and equitable development in tandem with responsible resource management and stewardship. Our approach ensures adaptable and fair agreements as every conservation compact facilitated through a communal business group is tailored to the specific needs and requests of a community. We apply this model to primary rainforest conservation, wildlife poaching, and First People’s equity over land tenure. We are currently looking to expand this model to conserve coastal areas and important mangrove habitats in Western Borneo Indonesia.
There are two main pathways to scale. First, each communal business group through the revolving fund has the power to grow on its own. In other words, as additional community members see the benefits received by joining the conservation compact, they can also buy-in (50 cent commitment) and join the group, as long as they agree to the stipulations of the specific compact. Therefore, at a village level a program can grow and go to scale on its own. On a larger level, this method can also be replicated. For example, we use the same general method (communal business group + conservation compact) in nearly 52 villages for our Friendly Forest Initiative. However, the model is adapted and tailored to the needs of that community. In 2016, we expanded to also address coastal areas (Solution 1 above), which also uses the exact same method (communal business group + conservation compact) but is tailored to the local community.
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