Tropenbos Indonesia (TI) started its activity in around 1986 with site projects in East Kalimantan due to the growing concern over the high rate of tropical forest damage in Indonesia. During the time, Tropenbos Indonesia conducted various studies on forest conservation and silvicuture. Some milestones have been recognized from the period of activities in East Kalimantan that exist until today including herbarium building Wana Riset Samboja and collections of research results covering forest management and silviculture issues.
In 1993, Tropenbos Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Indonesia, represented by the Ministry of Forestry (now Ministry of Environment and Forestry). The MoU was extended in 2007 and at the same time marked the expansion of activities of Tropenbos Indonesia from Kalimantan region to the whole parts of Indonesia.
Tropenbos Indonesia officially incorporated into Indonesian law and became a foundation on 22 December 2016 (Yayasan Tropenbos Indonesia). Having a tagline "Making knowledge work for forests and people" and a vision of "Bridging the gaps between knowledge and practices on better Forested Landscape Governance", Tropenbos Indonesia continues to work on improving sustainable forest management practices through activities related to mainstreaming High Conservation Value (HCV) Approach and its implementation to put no deforestation into practice. Tropenbos Indonesia shares commitment to protect forest areas while also respecting the rights, livelihoods and aspirations of local communities.
At present Tropenbos Indonesia runs activities under the programmes of Green Livelihoods Alliance/GLA Phase 2.0 (2021-2025), Working Landscape (2019-2023), and Mobilizing More for Climate/MoMo4C (2019-2024) implementing in Ketapang and KayongUtara/KKU Landscape, West Kalimantan, covering an area of 3.5 million ha. In all its activities, Tropenbos Indonesia works closely with various stakeholders of the landscape such as government agencies, private sectors, local communities and other CSOs/NGOs to assist communities toward the achievements of the goals of the programmes.
Key issues in facilitation of TI
- The development of equitable and sustainable spatial planning
- Strengthening villages/community groups in the management of natural resources
- The development of sustainable livelihoods
- Strengthening ISPs
- The establishment and protection of High Conservation Value (HCV) areas in productive landscape
- The identification and facilitation in the development and implementation of KEE (Essential Ecosystem Areas)
- The establishment of more equitable and sustainable trade of oil palm commodity
- The establishment of sustainable-community-based livelihoods that are conducive to forest conservation, including agroforestry protection, ecotourism development, and other environmental services, and sustainable agriculture on peatlands
- The increase of community access in forest area management through Social Forestry program
- Linkage of community business to financing institutions
- The development of Green Business model
Where we work
At the moment Tropenbos Indonesia works in Ketapang and Kayong Utara/KKU Districts, West Kalimantan in a landscape covering an area of 3,5 million ha. The landscape extends from the south-western coastal parts of West Kalimantan, to the hinterlands at the elevation of about 1,400 m above sea level. Land use/land cover in the landscape experienced rapid changes and dynamics in the past two decades and based on the time series analysis from the official national Land Cover Maps from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), 2000, 2009 and 2016, the major land use change comes from the development of oil palm.
The ethnic groups living in the landscape are Chinese, Dayak, Malay, and Javanese. They live as as farmers, workers of agro commodity plantations, traders and entrepreneurs, miners in bauxite and gold mining, fishermen, and small scale loggers. As strategic areas for industries and trades, the landscape has attracted many investors which like a double-edged knife, can be beneficial but also threatening and giving pressure to this area.
While some parts of the landscape has been highly degraded, some other parts still have important remaining primary forests and vast peatland areas, which face various threats including the expansion of cash crops, and fast development of infrastructure. Land conversion, degradation, and fragmentation of forests are only some impacts with severe consequences for biodiversity and so often lead to environmental catastrophe and people calamity.
In dry season, for example, fires become the biggest threat for the landscape which is difficult to cope especially in peatland areas. Unfortunately, driven by economic issues, the landscape stakeholders are often unaware of the risks of climate change (fires, loss of biodiversity, etc.) resulting from the land use change and their agricultural practices. The development of infrastructure, settlement, business and industries often go with the price of environmental damages. Enforcement on sustainable governance is necessary to reduce the damages and minimize the negative impacts as well as to stop further destructions of the landscape due to unsustainable practices.
To address the situation, continuous efforts must be done involving the whole related stakeholders of the landscape. In the past years, Tropenbos Indonesia has been part of the efforts and in collaboration with other stakeholders of the landscape delivering programmes which have eventual goal of achieving good governance and sustainable landscape, strengthening institutions, and empowering peole. Tropenbos Indonesia has also been part of the establishment of multi-stakeholder working groups at district and inter-village levels of the landscape. With the collaborative efforts and participative measures done by all stakeholders, it is expected that a successful result can be achieved and a sustainable path has been underway even in the midst of rapid development of the area.
National, Province and District
- Mainstreaming High Conservation Value Areas / ABKT / High Conservation Value (HCV) in the regulation drafting by the Director General of Natural Resources Conservation and Ecosystems (KSDAE), the Ministry of Forestry and Environment (KLHK) regarding the identification and management of HCVA in Management Unit and Landscape/Jurisdiction and KLHK Ministerial Regulation on Essential Ecosystem Areas.
- The formulation of method of HCV identification at landscape/jurisdiction levels and contribute in the formulation of HCV screening guideline by HCVRN
- HCV Identification in West Sumatra Province and Jambi Province (in collaboration with WARSI and IUCN) and in Kapuas Hulu District (in collaboration with HCVRN).
- HCV training in Bengkulu Province, West Kalimantan Province, and Ketapang District.
- Support the implementation of West Kalimantan Province regulation No.6/2018 about sustainable land-based investments.
- Approaches and methods in identifying potential areas for Social Forestry as input for the Social Forestry Acceleration Program.
Districts (Ketapang and Kayong Utara)
- Support Ketapang District in accelerating participatory mapping at village level.
- Providing technical assistance to Kayong Utara District in Strategic Environmental Assessment (KLHS) in a participatory manner to the Sukadana Spatial Planning Detail which is directly adjacent to Gunung Palung National Park (TNGP).
- Strategy and implementation to follow-up Presidential Instruction No.6/2018 (Oil Palm Moratorium) in Kayong Utara District.
TI Commitment until 2024
TI has carried out some commitments and will continue to work as committed in Ketapang and Kayong Utara Districts, including:
- Economic improvement of community based on inclusiveness: connecting sustainable economic activity of the community to micro finance institutions, providing small grant seed fund, connecting producer to impact investor, increasing the inclusiveness of independent smallholders of oil palm and other small farmers in corporate supply chain.
- Green investment in low carbon development: intensifying conservation efforts of tembawang (agroforestry) and sustainable agriculture on peatland as smart practice of land management for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Dissemination of better approaches in sustainable forested landscape governance.