How rattan farmers in Borneo are saving the forest and orangutans
Today, only around half of Borneo’s original rainforest cover remains. Indigenous Dayak communities could hold the key to its survival, with traditional rattan production a lifeline for local people, the forest and wildlife. In Central Kalimantan in Indonesia, WWF and IKEA are working with them for people and planet.
About 200 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide, the existing corridor between two national parks is vulnerable, surrounded by palm oil plantations and containing a number of areas currently earmarked for logging. Orangutans can survive in logged forests if fruit trees remain intact but further loss and fragmentation of the forest risks isolating separate groups, making habitat protection outside the parks essential.
“We want to promote a well management of the remaining rainforest in the Katingan Corridor,” says Sendy WWF Indonesia. “The plan is to secure a ‘wildlife corridor’ which enables orangutans and other wildlife to travel freely between different areas of forest, helping maintain genetic diversity.”
Working in partnership with local Dayak communities, as well as the government and the private sector, WWF and IKEA’s ambitious plan is to ensure the corridor survives, continuing to provide access to food, water and mating partners for orangutans and other wildlife. By helping communities develop sustainable local enterprise that benefits them, the partnership is also helping to keep the forest standing.