A Visit to Hirai Project Landscape in Central Kalimantan

12 September 2022
Eka Cahyaningrum

Himba Raya Indonesia (HIRAI) is a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness about environmental degradation, and the need for solutions that support local communities In Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. HIRAI’s vision is to build community resilience toward climate change through nature-based solutions through local employment and nature restoration.

HIRAI is currently running a project in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan and focusing on working in preserving peat forest and restoring degraded peatland that has been impacted from peat fire.

Peat-swamp in Central Kalimantan during wet season

HIRAI focused on peatland, because we believed that tropical peat swamp forests are a unique ecosystem that is under enormous threat from human activities from logging, including drainage and subsequent fire, conversion for agriculture, and wildlife hunting (Page et al., 2011).

Peat river full of brown water like tea

Peat degradation has many implications on the balance of the peat-swamp forest ecology . The disturbance of hydrological conditions in peat swamp forests makes it more susceptible to fires. Burned forests have lower canopy cover, lower species richness, and reduced tree and sapling density compared with unburned forest (Posa et al., 2011).

In Indonesia, there is a saying: Tak kenal maka tak sayang, which can be roughly translated as: if we don’t know or understand someone or something, then we won’t love or care about it. I’d like to invite all of you to fall in love with peatlands and to better understand our project. Join me on a journey through the landscapes in this video:

The video shows a small glimpse of our project area, what we want to protect and what we want to restore. To understand more about why and how we are planning to restore and protect the landscape, stay tuned and follow us on Instagram at @ikaa_cahya and @hirai_foundation.

Page, S. E., Rieley, J. O., & Banks, C. J. (2011). Global and regional importance of the tropical peatland carbon pool. Global Change Biology, 17(2), 798–818. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02279.x

Posa, M. R. C., Wijedasa, L. S., & Corlett, R. T. (2011). Biodiversity and conservation of tropical peat swamp forests. BioScience, 61(1), 49–57. https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2011.61.1.10

Eka Cahyaningrum

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Supporting partners

Under the banner of Generation Restoration, the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) launched the Restoration Stewards program in 2020 to support and highlight the work of six young restoration practitioners and their teams, dubbed ‘Restoration Stewards’. The year-long program provides funding, mentorship, and training to deepen the impact of these projects.
In 2021, the Restoration Stewards and their teams will be supported to further develop their project and will become ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards will share their journey in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges. Locally, they will spark a restoration movement, creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for more sustainable landscapes.