The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project

The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project encompasses a 47,237-hectare forest on the Southern Coast of Borneo, Indonesia, and is home to hundreds of at-risk species. This project is one of the world’s largest initiatives to protect and preserve High Conservation Value (HCV), lowland tropical peat swamp forests – one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The Rimba Raya area is rich in biodiversity, home to several flagship species such as the endangered Bornean orangutan, clouded leopard, gibbon, Proboscis monkey, and the Asian sun bear. The project aims to protect the integrity of the neighbouring world-renowned Tanjung Puting National Park through the creation of a physical buffer zone around the ~90km border of the park.

How it works

An area slated for four palm oil plantations has been protected by this project. By protecting the forest and peatland from being cleared for production, the project is mitigating the associated emissions that would result from those activities. Increased patrolling by locally hired rangers protect the project carbon stocks in the area. Forest rangers receive training in monitoring technologies, such as radio communication and GPS, and work with the local GIS team as support and data management.

This project recognizes the importance of not only the value of protecting forests but also the local community involvement. Utilizing the knowledge of local communities on sustainable forest management is crucial to successful carbon emissions reductions.

Offsets Made it Happen

Indonesia’s forests have long been at the forefront of deforestation. Between 1990 and 2005, they were losing over 2% forest cover annually, totaling nearly 1.9 million hectares every year. Today, that number has grown to more than 2,500,000 hectares annually – an area roughly the size of Belgium. Consequently, Indonesia ranks as the third-largest emitter of GHG emissions, despite having an economy that accounts for less than 1% of the world’s GDP.

In the absence of carbon offset funds, this area would have been converted into palm oil plantations using clear-cut logging and systematic draining of the peatland area. Above and below-ground carbon deposits would have been released into the atmosphere as a result, releasing millions of tonnes of GHG emissions. Biodiversity would have been displaced, such as the endangered orangutans and more than 50 other endangered species, as their habitat would have been destroyed by these activities.

Carbon offset funds are used to create a new economic incentive to encourage the protection of the world’s third-largest tropical rainforest sustainable financial resources for project area protection, local community development, and provincial government infrastructure and support to create a viable alternative to forest conversion in Indonesia.

Other Benefits of the Project

The Rimba Raya project provides alternative income opportunities to local communities, reducing the need to rely on forest products. This is done through capacity building, investments in micro-finance and programs that provide necessities including education and healthcare. Communities’ inputs are important in determining which programs are most crucial for their needs and should be funded.

The REDD+ carbon credit revenues have contributed to:

  • The development of a community-based program to plant roughly 300,000 trees and create diversified income through native cash crops
  • Distribution of low-maintenance, ceramic water filters to every household in the project area
  • Allocation of fuel-efficient smokeless cookstoves to 100 households in the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve.
  • Installation of solar panels for over 2,500 households
  • Provision of school supplies, uniforms, books and pocket money to children in 14 villages and funding for 2 libraries.
  • The building of a floating clinic to provide vital medical care and supplies to seven of the most remote villages in the project area
  • An orangutan release platform and wooden boardwalks into the forest to give easy access to swamps in the forest interior
  • Waste and clean-up programs to reduce waste pollution in villages around watersheds

Project at Glance

Project Type :

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), Agriculture Forestry and Other Land Use

Location :

Indonesia, Central Kalimantan

Estimated Annual Emission Reductions :

3,527,171 tCO2e

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