The people of Nanga Lauk Village have set a target of reducing CO2 equivalent emissions by 1,512 tonnes through their village forest management project. This figure was calculated through an analysis of local forest and land cover, which is undertaken every five years.
The project has received support from various institutions through the Sustainable Commodities Conservation Mechanism (SCCM): an innovative financing mechanism that helps secure long-term funding from commodity supply chains for high-quality conservation and restoration initiatives in Southeast Asia.
The Nanga Lauk village forest management project, which is due to last for 25 years (2019-2034), has been registered under Plan Vivo. This a standard that is given to projects which provide real, tangible benefits to both the environment and communities in the Global South.
As well as providing obvious climate benefits, community participation in forest management also contributes to meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through:
- Forest products in the form of natural honey, freshwater fish, rubber, and rattan that contribute to local household incomes (SDG 1).
- Village forests with peat swamp ecosystems that provide homes to orangutans, Borneo langur, honey bear, Senyulong crocodiles, various species of birds and fish as well as forest plants whose growth and protection contributes significantly to biodiversity conservation. (SDG 15).
- Protected natural storage sites, such as the Nanga Lauk village forest, that absorb carbon emissions (SDG 13).
- Activities that help improve people’s knowledge and skills in sustainable forest management to protect food sources and realize community food security (SDG 2).
- Inclusive community involvement in the implementation of village forest management, which encourages gender equality and promotes women’s empowerment (SDG 5).
The Village Forest Management Agency obtained a RPHD / Rencana Pengelolaan Hutan Desa in advance (the official documentation for management plans).
Both a Village Forest Management Plan and an Annual Work Plan were ratified by the Forestry Extension Agency of the North Kapuas Hulu Forest Management Unit for periods of 10 years and one year respectively.
The project has been certified under the Vivo Plan that guarantees the performance of village forest management for five years.
15 training sessions for the LPHD and the Nanga Lauk village community were held on monitoring and reporting, patrolling, forest fire protection and control, forest rehabilitisation, business management and village regulation preparation.
The project led 24 patrol trips in the village forest covering a distance of 852.46 KM and four patrol trips in the Limited Production Forest (HPT) covering a distance of 266.76 KM.
Animal counts undertaken during patrols in the village forest found as many as 326 individual birds, 102 mammals, and 25 reptiles.
Endemic endangered species found in forest areas in the village include orangutans, Borneo langurs, Senyulong crocodiles, and honey bears as well as several species of hornbill.
The project intends to rehabilitate nearly 20 hectares of forest each year, which will add up to 500 hectares over 25 years.
In the first year of the project, community members planted Dadak Wood (eaten by orangutans), Taon Wood and Putat Wood (wild bee feed), Kawi Wood, Medang and Kelansau (carpentry wood).
The project supports development of the Social Forestry Business Group for five commodities: natural honey, rubber, fish, rattan and ecotourism. Each of these groups will receive help with capacity building and market access, with business capital support of USD$3,500 every five years for 25 years.
The village forest management project in Nanga Lauk Village is carried out through partnerships between governments, business entities, communities and social forestry mentors.
Activities are financed through SCCM for 25 years, and funding comes with a strong commitment from plantation companies to support emissions reduction efforts, biodiversity conservation and community livelihood development.
Capacity building support is provided by government, primarily through Forest Management Units, while assistance for LPHDs is carried out by the PRCF Indonesia Foundation as project coordinator.
At national level, the Social Forestry program is still a priority for both the Minister of Environment and Forestry and the President of the Republic of Indonesia. The provincial government also continues to push for policies that support village development by mobilising potential resources from business entities and Social Forestry programmes.
Not all forested areas in Nanga Lauk Village are handed over to the community: some are given to businesses in the form of Forest Management Rights. When the practices carried out by these businesses are different from those of the community, it can cause social difficulties, damage the motivations of the community and risk the project as a whole.
Businesses often want to use forests for timber, but this is not allowed under the conditions applied to Forest Management Rights. They only have authority to use limited amounts of non-timber forest products and ecosystem services.
Community village forest management takes a long time to set up in order for it to be truly independent. This requires both investment and effective long-term mentoring.
Key lessons learned
The good practices of Nanga Lauk Village in the village forest management project will be a model for the development of village forests by other communities in the province of West Kalimantan.
The success of this project will also detemine the way other similar projects are implemented: contributing to a reduction in GHG emissions both regionally and nationally.
Data collected over the course of this project will provide invaluable information for research as well as informing the way that activities are carried out locally.
A particularly valuable lesson taken from Nanga Lauk Village is the importance of cross-sector support to engage and motivate all project partners. Without this it is difficult to make the progress needed for meaningful environmental change.
A second year of activities will continue with existing project funds, which will be distributed after the annual report of the first year of activities. These funds will be received by the fund provider through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for compensation in conservation activities (HCVF).
Following the successful implementation of the project in Nanga Lauk Village, it is expected to be expanded to several other villages that have obtained Village Forest Management Rights from the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia.