First village land use plan in West Kalimantan

The landscape in the Ketapang district of West Kalimantan is under pressure from concessions for palm oil, pulp and paper, mining, and logging. IDH, Aidenvironment and Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (BGA) oil palm plantation company cooperate on a project that combines wildlife protection with sustainable production.

The Ketapang project focuses on the area around the Sungai Putri peat land and the forest area of Gunung Tarak. The project has two goals.

  1. Rehabilitation and management of a wildlife and green corridor for orangutans and other species between the two forest areas.
  2. Social and economic development, which will be regulated in village level land use plans for eight villages in and surrounding the corridor.

Agreements will be sought with communities surrounding palm oil concessions to support smallholder development and alternative livelihood options. The district government is a crucial player as the required permits, integration in spatial plans, and management of the areas depend on its cooperation.

The first village land use plan has been prepared and a two-day workshop for representatives from government, companies and NGOs will be held in early March to explain the village level land use planning methodology developed by Aidenvironment.
When all eight village level land use plans have been prepared, they will form the basis for the corridor plan and village level development plans. However, landscape projects face many complexities and hurdles.

The project in West Kalimantan aims to prove the concept that investments in community and smallholder economic development, combined with land use planning and forest restoration, lead to sustainable results for people, planet, and profit in the landscape.

“We’ve already seen positive results just after the start of the project, when Aidenvironment was able to stop a palm oil plantation from opening up forest and peat land adjacent to the corridor. BGA acknowledged this as a main risk for the project objectives and immediately took responsibility by buying the area of the adjacent plantation. IDH would like to applaud this joint action”, says Claudia Schlangen, Senior Program Officer Sustainable Landscapes, IDH.

This article was first published on the site of Aidenvironment.