This summer I had the opportunity to join the One Million Trees program for the third time in a row in order to follow its development. After initial difficulties to produce good seedlings of the tree species Paraseriantes falcataria (Indonesian “Sengon”), the cycle of 2015/16 started very well. Around 225,000 seedlings were produced in local tree nurseries and handed out to the farmers.Almost 300 farmers participated in the program since the beginning of 2014 and interest and attractiveness are increasing: About 500 new farmers showed their interest while attending new socialization workshops.
Moreover a sophisticated monitoring system was developed to locate the farmers and their planted areas in digital maps. You can have a look at the map right here.
Particularly impressive is the growth of some well-chosen and neat plantings, where trees exceed the height measurement of 10m after only 1.5 years. However, there are also some examples showing weaker results: Sometimes it is a lack of care, the seedlings were too weak or the location was not suitable for this fast-growing pioneer species. Still remaining is the continued technical support of the farmers, the quality insurance of seedlings and the respective care for the plantings. Therefore the workforce at the Borneo Institute has already been strengthened and still should be continued if the program is further developing according to the positive perception of the local population.
Overall I am confident about the success of the program. The biological potential of “Sengon” has clearly been proven, especially for the reforestation of degraded areas. The attempt of a cultivation on a former gold mine already has been started and seems promising.
Jean-Philippe Mayland, forest engineer