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Borneo: Forests for a better future

May 31, 2022

Indonesian farmers are planting trees to restore the country's threatened forests — and provide a sustainable future.

Farmer in Central Kalimatan, Borneo, Indonesia
Farmers in Central Kalimantan are working to create a sustainable timber industryImage: Nicole Ris/DW

100 million trees for Borneo

Indonesia has lost nearly a fifth of its forests in just the last 20 years. But the island of Kalimantan, also known as Borneo, is beginning to see signs of change. 

Working with non-profit Fairventures, farmers in Central Kalimantan have planted over a million fast-growing trees to revive the forest and replenish its soils. This makes the land more fertile, more resilient to climate impacts such as floods — and helps store carbon to protect the climate. 

At the same time, villagers are sowing the seeds of a sustainable timber business that could one day bring them a steady income — and an alternative to working in the mines or palm oil plantations that threaten the forest.

Project goal: To restore degraded forest in Central Kalimantan and develop a sustainable timber industry

Project implementation: Fairventures provides saplings and trains locals to plant them, as part of its 100 Million Trees program, which builds on the A Million Trees project that was completed in 2020

Partner organizations: The initiative is funded by the German Environment Ministry's International Climate Initiative and is working with partners including the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Borneo Institute

A film by Nicole Ris and A.B. Rodhial Falah