Community-based model in partnership with an NGO
In partnership with a local NGO named Yayasan Planet Indonesia, the rural communities in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have adopted conservation practices to protect at-risk ecosystems. The NGO creates village-led partnerships to support ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) by instituting community governance structures (Conservation Cooperatives) that enable access to financial and non-financial services that promote sustainable use of forests and mangroves.
The rural communities in Kalimantan include the Dayak community inhabiting Gunung Niut nature reserve and Gunung Naning protected forest sites and coastal non-Dayak fishing communities inhabiting the Kubu Raya Mangrove Forests. These communities suffer socio-economic barriers that force them to exploit natural resources beyond their subsistence needs, contributing to increased deforestation rates. The NGO initially conducts a group hearing session with the community members to understand environmental challenges and asks the community to provide possible solutions. Therefore, by incorporating the views of the community members, the NGO builds trust, encouraging them to participate in the NGO’s capacity-building activities and create a village-level conservation agreement. The community members are trained in sustainable forest management, sustainable fisheries, and using a Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) to protect their forests with government park rangers. In addition, a Village Savings and Loan Program, a Healthy Family Program, and a Literacy Program support the overall well-being of rural communities.
The following are the environmental, social and economic impacts of the Community-led conservation initiative. The deforestation rates have dropped by 56% in the villages where this program is implemented compared to other areas with 77% of tree cover loss. Furthermore, the deforestation of Mangroves has reduced by 33.7ha/year. From a social perspective, 157 local women were taught to serve as health ambassadors in their communities, making home visits and facilitating access to public health information and services for women and girls. Moreover, 264 community members who undertook the literacy program are now eligible to seek formal employment opportunities. The Village Loan Program could create assets totalling USD 99,762, of which USD 45,859 would be granted as a loan to the cooperative members.
To date, the Yayasan Planet Indonesia programs have been able to protect 30,000 hectares of forest, equivalent to 3,00,000 tons of carbon dioxide. (Considering one hectare of forest can sequester 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide). Besides, the mangroves in West Kalimantan store about 300 Megagrams of carbon per hectare (Mg/ha). The 5,000 hectares of forests protected by Yayasan Planet Indonesia equals 1,500,000,000 kilograms of carbon per hectare (Kg/ha). This is approximately equal to the emissions of 316,850 passenger vehicles driven for one year. The project also enables the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, thereby supporting the 2030 Agenda.
Why is this an ideal model for encouraging climate change mitigation and adaptation practices at the local level?
Novia Sagita, a local lady from Arang Limbung hamlet in Kubu Raya District, was the first to test the Yayasan Planet Indonesia model. She employed a collaborative business model to lift indigenous women from poverty by renewing traditional art and textiles and reforesting degraded lands. What began as a 25-woman cooperative enterprise has grown to over 1,500 producers. They have established savings and loan programs to improve health care and education. The group is now a fully independent cooperative that has built its museum in the Sintang District with European Union support.
This community-led conservation model established by Yayasan Indonesia can be considered an ideal program that can be scaled up in other countries, as it catalyses village-led partnerships through the support and initiative of a local NGO, which in turn is supported through funds by international organisations. This approach creates a bottom-up approach towards adopting sustainable natural resource practices while establishing a local, regional and international network of stakeholders that support the project. The model’s strength is its ability to support the community through grants financially, thereby not imposing any financial burden on the already economically stressed rural communities.
We need more locally-led efforts to achieve our climate goal of reaching net zero by 2050.
Submitted by Climate Scorecard Indonesia Country Manager Netra Naik.
Yayasan Planet Indonesia
Phone: +62 811-5785-559