Our organization, Himba Raya Indonesia (HIRAI) works in Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Our target area is a village called Tumbang Nusa, and we work with the local community to plant seedlings and buy them from the existing nursery. We recently met with community representatives to develop a better understanding of the conditions facing the villagers as well as their hopes and challenges.
Figure 1. Yun and Riyan from HIRAI facilitating discussions with the local community in Tumbang Nusa
We invited 16 community representatives to a discussion in their village. Most of the participants were women who owned plant nurseries and supplied seedlings for restoration projects around the village.
From this discussion, we gained new insight about restoration activities in the area around Tumbang Nusa. There are almost 50 plant nurseries in the village, and almost every household has one. Most of them source their seedlings from the surrounding forest and cultivate them until they are ready to be planted in the degraded areas. Most of the seedlings they collect and cultivate are Dyera costulata (locally known as Jelutung), Shorea blangeran (Blangeran), and Pantung; all of which are native to the peat swamp forest in Palangkaraya (a city in Central Kalimantan)..
The community was very open: they told us about their collaboration, how much the seedlings cost, and the types of seedlings they collected. Many of the nurseries received support from restoration projects by governments and corporations, with some receiving more support than others. We aim to help the nurseries that received less support, and we are sourcing seedlings from them for future projects.
It was encouraging to see that the community is excited to support the restoration project and to work with HIRAI by supplying seedings of endemic species to be replanted in degraded areas. A passionate local community is one of the things that keeps us grounded and one of the main reasons HIRAI exists. We hope to continue to work with and support the community in Tumbang Nusa for many years to come.