Preserving Borneos richly biodiverse tropical peat swamp forests and improving local lives
The Rimba Raya peat swamp forests are located in Central Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo in Indonesia. Before the project was established, these immensely biodiverse tropical peatlands were scheduled for conversion into four palm oil estates by the provincial government.
The average salary is 300% higher than the national poverty line, and over 200% higher than the Seruyan minimum wage
1000 chickens and 668 units of shrimp paste produced and sold on average each year
23% of employees are women and 12 women own and operate chicken farms and shrimp paste businesses
throughout nine villages
with 73 field staff personnel hired from 14 villages to support with monitoring the project
on average annually by protecting the reserve from deforestation
5.7 tonnes of garbage collected from the Seruyan River and its shores and 20,000 mangrove seeds planted
from conversion to palm oil, this is critical biodiversity habitat
The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve protects 91,215 hectares of rich, tropical peat swamp forests which are monitored by local rangers as well as by satellite and aerial imagery. The reserve is adjacent to the world-renowned Tanjung Puting National Park and forms a physical buffer zone along the parks eastern border. As well as preserving ecosystem diversity and the habitat of endangered species like the Bornean orangutan, the project reduces emissions by avoiding the planned deforestation of over 47,000 hectares of forests for palm oil production.
The Rimba Raya project not only sequesters carbon and protects habitat for local wildlife; it also promotes local sustainable development, particularly regarding environmental education and economic capacity building. The project employs 73 field staff personnel, 18 of whom are women, and provides other project-related jobs to another 22 local women. The project further focuses on female capacity building by providing financial support for chicken meat and egg working groups, and for recyclable handicrafts. Project activities also promote community education, with two village libraries built in 2016 and two more planned for construction.