As part of his trip to Indonesia in the middle of May, the State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Jochen Flasbarth, visited the 1 Million Trees program in Borneo, Indonesia. Within this program, Fairventures has been implementing a project to rehabilitate degraded land with native tree species in Central Kalimantan since March 2016. The project is part of the International Climate Initiative. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) is supporting the initiative on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.
During his visit in the project area, the State Secretary took a look at the previously planted fields with Sengon trees in the region of Gunung Mas. The Sengon trees were planted by smallholders during the previous planting season from December 2016 to February 2017. The project provides different fast-growing pioneer seedlings that are planted by local farmers. Impressed by the results of the project, Jochen Flasbarth states: “In my perspective, the project is locally connected and well integrated into the structures onsite. This ensures that the Dayaks (local farmers) have a high personal interest in the successful implementation of the project as they are creating new and sustainable livelihoods. The combination of various fast-growing native tree species is leading the right way to make use of the native genetic potential of tree species. This can be described as applied climate protection which will help to bring back biodiversity on degraded field locations in the long term.“*
The first results show that this form of reforestation provides a relevant alternative to rehabilitate degraded soil. One of the future challenges will be to find a business model that benefits to all parties involved.