Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management in the Heart of Borneo

Clients: Asian Development Bank

The Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management in Borneo project is part of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative. The HoB area covers 22 million hectares of trans-boundary equatorial rainforest, including some of the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, with an estimated 6 percent of global biodiversity. Biodiversity is being lost to conversion of natural forest and unsustainable resource use. Effective, long-term conservation planning and management is needed, with the direct involvement and support of local communities, government, private landowners and external investors. The Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management in Borneo project helped to meet these needs. The project was funded by the Asian Development Bank, and implemented through the Directorate of Environmental Services for Conservation Areas of the Ministry of Environment and Forests,

Project Objectives

The aims of the project were:

  • To design schemes for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation at the local level;
  • To develop pilot areas for sustainable financing schemes for forest and biodiversity management; and
  • To strengthen capacity of institutions for sustainable forest and biodiversity management.















Project fieldwork took place in the districts of Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan Province and Malinau in North Kalimantan Province. Efforts were focused on the village forest (hutan desa) of Nanga Lauk in Kapuas Hulu and the customary community territory (masyarakat adat) of Punan Long Adiu in Malinau District. Both community forests were located in Forest Management Units. The project also produced detailed surveys of Kayan Mentarang and Betung Kerihun national parks and supported the implementation of the management plans.

REDD+ and PES activities

The project team established that REDD+ offered by far the most potential of the possible payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes. Given the characteristics of the project sites, the Plan Vivo standard for generating saleable voluntary emissions reductions was selected. The standard is internationally recognised and accepted, and has been tailored specifically for use by small communities.

Working with the two local not-for-profit organisations (LP3M and PRCF Indonesia), the project supported the preparation of forest management project design documents (PDD) for the Nanga Lauk village forest and the Punan Long Adiu customary community territory pilot sites and the marketing of the emission reductions created.

One of the challenges of the REDD+ schemes is to demonstrate a robust baseline, clear additionality, minimal leakage or displacement of emissions and permanence of the avoided deforestation. The table below shows the calculations and certified emission reductions that were achieved at each site:







In addition to the Plan Vivo certification, both forest sites have been audited for the Voluntary Conservation Area (VCA) scheme and are now officially approved and recorded in the VCA Registry. This increases the attractiveness of the pilot sites to investment in biodiversity offset or RSPO compensation schemes; and also increases the saleability of the emission reduction certificates.

Capacity building

The key target groups for the project’s capacity building activities were forest-based communities and government agencies at national, provincial and district levels, all of whom who have the potential to play a key role in forest management if their skills and knowledge can be enhanced. The training activities focused on the technical and business skills necessary for forest management, and for wider community development.

The training of communities has increased the capacity of local institutions and village communities to operate and maintain the Plan Vivo certification in the long term, as well as building complementary skills relating to livelihoods.

Project outcomes

The project made some very significant achievements:

  • Enabled Nanga Lauk to become the very first hutan desa in Kalimantan to obtain Plan Vivo certification, and Punan Long Adiu the first masyarakat adat. This is a very significant achievement in the context of limited capacity at the start of the project, remoteness of the village and short project timeframe.
  • Helped both the communities to establish tenure and land use rights and built their capacity to manage resources sustainably; and helped government develop REDD related policy and regulation, and built the capacity at both provincial and district levels in technical disciplines to support sustainable management of both forests and national parks in the HoB region.
  • Increased capacity and potential for sustainable livelihood activities by building infrastructure for ecotourism activities (including homestays, walkways, observation tracks and boats).
  • Empowered local communities to apply new approaches to plan and manage their forests sustainably. The project has given communities access to international carbon and conservation finance through the creation of certified emission reductions and Voluntary Conservation Areas.

The most exciting news is that Nanga Lauk village has secured finance from Cargill for its emission reductions through the Sustainable Commodities Conservation Mechanism (SCCM). Cargill has pledged to pay for the certified emission reductions generated by the project for the next 25 years and will help expand the protected forest area to include additional standing forest that would otherwise be destroyed or degraded. This will ensure the conservation of critically endangered species in some of the world’s most biodiverse old-growth rainforest.

Download the Project Brochure and 3 Briefing Notes (In English and Bahasa Indonesia) on Community Forest Management in the Heart of Borneo using the links below:

Brochure: Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management in Borneo

Brochure: Pengelolaan Hutan dan Keanekaragaman Hayati Berkelanjutan di Kalimantan

BN1: Community Forest Management in the Heart of Borneo

BN1: Pengelolaan Hutan Kemasyarakatan di Kawasan Jantung Kalimanta

BN2: Community Forest Management in the Heart of Borneo

BN2: Pengelolaan Hutan Kemasyarakatan di Kawasan Jantung Kalimanta

BN3: Community Forest Management in the Heart of Borneo

BN3: Pengelolaan Hutan Kemasyarakatan di Kawasan Jantung Kalimanta

Key Staff