Kick-start of new transboundary conservation project

Man strikes gong

District manager (Bupati) A.M. Nasir strikes the gong during official kick-off of the project; Photo: WWF-Indonesia/Victor Fidelis

Indonesia and Malaysia started a new transboundary conservation project, dubbed as “Green Growth in the Heart of Borneo (HoB)”.  The HoB refers to a central part of Borneo Island with its biological rich tropical forests. It is one of the largest remaining transboundary rainforests in the world. But the Heart of Borneo is not just a treasure trove of biodiversity - it is also a source of life and livelihood for people, providing ecological services for at least 11 million people, including a million forest-dwelling indigenous Dayaks.

A wide range of stakeholders comprising both governments, private sector, civil society and academia converged in Putussibau, West Kalimantan, Indonesia for the beginning of the new project. It aims at developing a green economy management concept that promotes environmentally-friendly resource use and production within a 2 million hectares site in the transboundary HoB forest corridor for West Kalimantan and Sarawak. Transboundary land-use planning will integrate objectives of pilot projects to initiate sustainable economic growth and support a deforestation free economy promoting the well-being of communities and restoring connectivity between valuable ecosystems across the border.

With the combination of economic development and nature conservation, the resilience against climate change will be improved, especially for local communities and indigenous groups. Information and experience from the project will serve as basis for a design of a cost-effective adaptation strategy. Demonstrating the business case for a green economy model in the transboundary region has great potential for replication in other districts. 

The project is funded with €4,3 million by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany.

The Kapuas Hulu District Government welcomed the project collaboration as the implementation of a green economy helps to foster sustainable development and it is in line with the District’s Conservation strategy that promotes balance in ecology, economy and social development in the area.

A similar kick-off event is also planned to be held in Sarawak to obtain the Sarawak Government and other stakeholders’ commitment to the project.