Rimba Raya Reserve in Indonesia
Indonesia loses 2.5 million hectares of rainforest annually, an area roughly the size of Belgium. Rapid deforestation for palm oil cultivation and agriculture has, according to the World Resources Institute, resulted in Indonesia becoming the fifth largest emitter of green-house-gas emissions globally. As well as contributing to climate change, deforestation is depleting much needed ecosystem services and threatening Indonesia’s unique biodiversity.
The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve protects the forest by helping local people to improve their livelihoods without destroying the forest. It has obtained tenure rights for 30 years, and protects nearly 160,000 acres of peat swamp forest, home to over 600 wildlife species, including endangered species such as Bornean orangutans. The project supports employment, health and education initiatives, with people benefitting from jobs in sustainable farming and handcrafts, as well as access to solar lanterns, efficient cookstoves and safe water. It is set to reduce 130m tonnes of CO2 over 30 years.