Green Growth in the Heart of Borneo: Integrating conservation, economic development and well-being of communities across a transboundary landscape
As of: September 2021
The ‘Heart of Borneo’ is a region offering a unique level of biodiversity. The Heart of Borneo Declaration signed by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei aims at protecting this region. Yet the region is threatened by unsustainable resource usage on the part of forestry and agriculture. To improve protection further, the project is supporting a number of parts of the Heart of Borneo action plan involving the transboundary management of resources, ecotourism and activities to strengthen communities. The project is also developing a sustainable, ‘green economy’ management model and implementing this in a number of pilot sub-projects. Networking efforts between the various stakeholders drawn from government and the private sector are fostering new partnerships that are promoting sustainable economic growth in the region while getting local communities involved. All of the project results and approaches will be used as input for the Heart of Borneo initiative, and applied as broadly as possible.
State of implementation/results
- The development of a final master plan for land use in the State of Sarawak is progressing. One of the two projects to secure the livelihoods of local communities was able to continue (under pandemic-related restrictions): The Gaharu plantation for tea on degraded land near the habitats of orangutans. The activities in the second project, the pepper pilot project for a sustainable pepper plantation with marketing, could not be continued. However, the team has contacted potential suppliers of pepper storage equipment and the Malaysian Pepper Board to discuss further activities. In August, the team paid a courtesy visit to the Sarawak Forest Department (FDS), the key government partner in the project, to meet the new Coordinator of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) for Sarawak and the new Senior Assistant Director of the International Relations Unit, who is responsible for intergovernmental initiatives such as the HoB. The Land Use Plan and the Green Economy Action Plan have been approved internally at WWF Malaysia and are being finalized at the moment.
- Experts are currently working on a document for the development of an emission reduction scenario. This is based on workshops with the technical team at district level in Putussibau and at sub-district level (Sub-KSK Agropolitan Embau) in Hulu Gurung. It covers different aspects: spatial planning, farming, fishery, plantation, social-economy, partnership, environmental services, biodiversity conservation and an implementation scenario. The final report supporting best management practices in the supply chain for palm oil in the KSK Agropolitan Area is available. The Green Economy Action Plan draft for the sub-KSK Agropolitan Area Embau is also available and in the process of finalization. Talks with palm oil companies (PT RAP of Salim Group and PT PIP of SMART Group) have been initiated to stimulate partnerships and generate market access.