Tropenbos Indonesia (TBI) has collaborated with oil-palm plantation companies. i.e. PT. KAL of ANJ Group/18,000 ha) and PT. Gemilang Makmur Subur/GMS of Bumitama Group/5,000 ha) in Gunung Tarak Sub-landscape to design an ecological corridor that connects Sungai Putri Production Forest (SPPF, 57,000 ha, dominated by deep peatlands), with Gunung Palung National Park/GPNP/95,000 ha) and Gunung Tarak Watershed Protection Forest (GTPF, 24,000 ha).
The proposed ecological corridor concept was presented to the Ketapang District Development and Planning Agency/BAPPEDA on November 9, 2017 during public private parnership workshop, attended by representatives of District Parliement, village and District government, private sector and NGOs. The presented corridor map, which is based on TBI’s HCV landscape study, was similar with the one proposed by IDH, however in this meeting TBI outlined the strategic position of KEE as a way to restore District government’s forest management authority. In fact, after the issuace of Law No. 23/2014, forest management authority has shifted from District to Province government. The discussion has stimulated Bappeda head, Mr. Mahyuddin as KEE champion/supporter, this led to the smooth issuance of Governor Decree.
The large remaining forest blocks in Ketapang are disconnected each other due to the establishment of the inter-district road Ketapang-Pontianak and the conversion of forested areas to other land uses during the early 2000s, including the establishment large scale oil-palm plantation management units. The current fragmentation has isolated orangutan (Pongo pygmeus warmbii) of 2,500 individuals in Sungai Putri Protection Forest, which led to an ecological trap.
Since early 2017, TBI collaborates with PT. KAL and PT. GMS to develop inter-connection among High Conservation Value (HCV) areas within management units and the remaining forest patches outside management units. This includes the Manjau Village Forest (1,070 ha), riparian forest and community land that will be rehabilitated. Rehabilitation and protection activities will be conducted by Government in collaboration with the private sector, communities and NGOs.
Further work are needed to socialize the ecological corridor concept at the grass-root level, especially in the Laman Satong Village, where the whole ecological corridor take place to develop attractive scheme (incentive) to improve community land-use to be more suitable for orangutan corridor, for example developing fruit based (durian) agroforestry, while maintain private sector commitment spirits, stimulate Gunung Palung National Park and Ketapang Forest Management Unit to involve on the initiative, while keeping conducive Government policy (province and district) to prevent the expansion of Bauxite mining (PT. Laman Mining) at the expense of HCV areas and community forest (Village Forest) and agriculture land. (EP)