1.8 million hectares of Indonesian forests are cut down each year — for perspective, that’s an area 16 times the size of Hong Kong. This deforestation hurts us here in Hong Kong, and threatens communities across the globe, because of the massive amounts of climate-change-causing carbon released by such destruction.
Unmanaged and unsustainable logging in Indonesia also hurts local communities, whose survival depends on the forests and whose drinking water is contaminated by the resulting erosion. And 3,000 orangutans are killed yearly as these forests are chopped down, too — their numbers are rapidly dwindling. The Conservancy works in Indonesia to protect the forests and marine resources that locals — and the world — depend on.
From Seeds of Change…
An astonishing 72% of Indonesia’s original forest cover has already been lost. The high deforestation rates in Indonesia make the country the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, according to the World Bank, placing it just behind the U.S. and China. Deforestation in all three countries, as well as other top emitters, is partially responsible for the effects of climate change we’re already enduring here in Hong Kong — and that we will continue to endure in increasing severity and frequency if nothing is done to stop them. Click here to donate HK$500 per month. Over two years, you could help plant 500 trees, and every tree you plant could generate enough clean air for four people.
To ensure Indonesia’s forests don’t disappear and to help reduce carbon emissions, Conservancy supporters have helped us establish effective forest protection and restoration projects in multiple locations with a broad coalition of partners. From creating a conservation curriculum now being used by teachers in the rainforests of Lore Lindu to educate local students on the value of nature, to rallying government support for sustainable forestry, to partnering with local communities seeking alternatives to destructive forestry practices, the Conservancy’s work to keep Indonesia’s forests standing is making a difference. A Conservancy project in East Kalimantan spanning an area larger than Cambodia is protecting tropical rainforests for people in 724 villages and the 2,500 orangutans who live there and rely on them for food, medicine, and lodging. The project is also reducing emissions through the Berau forest carbon program. Reducing deforestation is also keeping local river water cleaner, free of silts and soils, so villagers and animals have water to drink and healthy fish populations can thrive. Elsewhere in Kalimantan, the Conservancy brokered an agreement between local indigenous villages and an Indonesian logging company who were warring over the future of local forests. Now, the forests are sustainably managed and harvested, and the wood sold fetches higher prices since buyers will pay extra for certified sustainable wood. “Without The Nature Conservancy,” says Jonas, head of the collaborative management body for the five villages involved, “I’m pretty sure the forest would already be gone.”
… To Seas of Change
But the Conservancy and our community of Conservation Champions aren’t just saving some of Indonesia’s largest remaining swaths of forests: together, we’re also keeping coastlines and deeper waters safe for local communities and the global community — since we all rely on a healthy supply of seafood from the oceans around Indonesia and the Coral Triangle.
To protect Indonesia’s seas, the Conservancy is partnering with governments, local people and businesses from the grassroots to the highest level to help ensure effective management of these vital marine environments by the people and for the people who rely on them. From community projects in places like Raja Ampat to big international commitments spanning multiple Coral Triangle governments for the sustainable management of marine resources across national borders, the Conservancy has helped pave the way for a sustainable marine economy in Indonesia.
For example, in February of 2013, our support helped enable the government of Raja Ampat to place its entire 4 million hectares of coastal and marine waters under protection as a marine sanctuary, where fish and shark populations are already beginning to thrive. Learn more about how the support of our Conservation Champions helped make this possible.
Become a Conservation Champion by starting your monthly gift today. You’ll join the world’s most ambitious effort to protect our planet, improving our quality of life in Hong Kong and around the world, today and in the future.