Reforest critical areas of rainforest

June 15, 2017

Indonesia Placeholder

Reforest critical areas of rainforest

About the Implementing organization

Name: Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI)

Country: Indonesia

Year of establishment: 2007

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status


In 2009 ASRI launched a reforestation program collaborating with park officials to reforest areas within Gunung Palung National Park that are critical for orangutan conservation.

The reforestation program is innovative because it continues to adapt based on the drivers of deforestation and win-win solutions for people and the environment. In 2015 ASRI noticed that illegal gardens are a driver of deforestation, with hundreds of gardens within the Park accounting for thousands of hectares of cleared land. ASRI and the National Park office are partnering with farmers to reforest illegal gardens in exchange for legal rights to harvest non-forest timber products from those gardens. By turning illegal gardens into profitable sources of non-timber forest products ASRI is dramatically altering the economic landscape in favor of forest conservation. Farmers also gain food security through legally being able to harvest their gardens.

Nature Element

Forests / Wildlife

Type of Action

Restoration / Access and benefit sharing

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

Over the past 9 years ASRI has reforested 22 hectares at two sites within Gunung Palung National Park that were cleared by illegal logging and fire. ASRI is on track to reforest another 15 hectares at those sites by the end of 2018. ASRI often has community tree planting days which engage and educate the public and ASRI Kids participants on the importance of forests.

ASRI is partnering with farmers to reforest 17 hectares in 31 illegal gardens located in an area of the national park where an isolated population of orangutans and gibbons has been identified. In exchange, the farmers agreed to not clear more forest nor harm orangutans and other wildlife in their gardens, and Park officials will officially allow farmers to harvest fruit and non-timber forest products from these gardens.

Sustainable Development Impacts

In 2013, ASRI replanted 6.7 ha to create the Sedahan Orangutan Corridor -- a strip of land that connects a 7,000-ha forest fragment with the main body of the Park. This reforestation site, which four years ago was a degraded peat swamp, is today a recovering forest ecosystem that provides habitat for orangutans and a variety of wild animals frequently caught on photo by our camera traps. All of ASRI's reforestation sites employ community members in sustainable livelihoods.

ASRI's new illegal garden program is an innovative solution to sustainable natural resource management. In addition, it will provide participants with: food security, income, legal recognition to farm, and a learning opportunity of why conserving the rainforest is important.


To reforest illegal gardens within the national park, ASRI employs a modified version of assisted natural regeneration (ANR). Assisted natural regeneration attempts to restore degraded areas by enhancing natural processes rather than manually creating a forest from scratch. In this method, ASRI protects an area from fire and remove invasive species to liberate native seedlings that naturally disperse into an area and germinate on their own. Then they do enrichment plantings to fill gaps or increase native diversity. ANR is labor- and cost- effective, requiring less than half the number of seedlings per acre as more intensive methods. It also results in more rapid forest recovery, as it takes advantage of remnant soil seed banks and naturally occurring seedlings.

This method could be expanded to other reforestation sites around Indonesia.


The community based solutions and adaptability of this program can be replicated worldwide. ASRI's program links reforestation with direct benefits to the communities living around the park. These community-based and income generating solutions result in community buy-in, which ensures long-term protection of reforested areas.

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