Johor Bahru, Malaysia – The Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) has partnered with su-re.co, a local NGO, to restore the Batur UNESCO Global Geopark and surrounding areas in Northeast Bali. This collaborative effort aims to rehabilitate approximately 20,000 hectares of degraded land, incorporating agroforestry and reforestation practices.
The region, encompassing the Batur UNESCO Global Geopark, faces significant environmental challenges, with approximately 135,000 hectares of degraded land in the government’s Forest Estate. Unsustainable forestry and farming practices have led to the degradation of vegetation, soils, and water resources on 43,000 hectares, impacting local communities with issues like droughts, flash floods, landslides, and poor water quality.
The project, under a Memorandum of Understanding between su-re.co and the provincial government’s Forestry and Environment Agency, aims to utilise assisted natural regeneration, where local people intervene to help trees and native vegetation naturally recover. The project also employs enrichment planting, and agroforestry to restore degraded land.
The restored areas will sequester substantial amounts of carbon and produce in-demand commodities such as coffee and spices, generate bioenergy, and offer improved ecosystem services.
“CIFOR-ICRAF provides the scientific basis for the agroforestry work for restoration. Specifically in this project we ensured co-design and co-implementation of activities, taking to consideration communities and their livelihoods. This means that our developed strategies reflects local environmental and socioeconomic conditions,” CIFOR-ICRAF Scientist Swetha Peteru said.
The ten-year project will be implemented by a consortium consisting of su-re.co, the Indonesian government (DKLH and National Research and Innovation Agency/BRIN), local university (Udayana), CIFOR-ICRAF, National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS, Republic of Korea), larger private sector, donors, and investment partners. The collaboration will work through four major components, including establishing a coordinated enabling environment, co-designing and co-implementing restoration models, training communities and stakeholders, and strengthening partnerships for long-term success.
Expected outputs include the development of quality germplasm, a landscape of integrated restoration and bioenergy, training for farmers and officials, an enabling environment for investment, and the creation of small-to-medium-sized enterprises. The project aligns with international and national commitments, including the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contribution, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Through this 10-year project, we not only expect to be able to generate carbon credits and explore other payment for ecosystem schemes, we also anticipate that around 10,000 men and women farmers, are trained in assisted natural regeneration, agroforestry techniques, and other practices. Additionally, at the government level, we anticipate training 100 forestry and geopark staff in long term management of assisted regeneration and agroforestry,” said Peteru. (nsh)