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Together with Villagers, BGA Group Conserves Village Forests in Ketapang

Together with Villagers, BGA Group Conserves Village Forests in Ketapang

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Village forests remain good, and the people do too. That could be the slogan that villagers of Simpang Tiga Sembelangan and Sungai Melayu in District of Ketapang, West Kalimantan Province believe. They are ready to keep their village forests good. The forests were in flame, but now kinds of endemic plantations and superior fruit plantations grow. The villagers hoped that the forests could be agro-tourism enter in District of Ketapang.

By training and collecting data village about forest conservation in corporation with PT. Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (PT. BGA), Lembaga Pengelola Hutan Desa (LPHD) Sembelangaan and Belaban Rayak successfully identified village forest conservation from their circumstances.

LPHD Sembelangaan cultivates the village forests of Sembelangaan which cover 4.325 hectares (ha) in Kawasan Hutan Lindung Gunung Tarak, Village of Simpang Tiga Sembelangaan, Sub district of Nanga Tayap, District of Ketapang, West Kalimantan Province that would last for 35 years.

LPHD Belaban Raya cultivates village forests of Belaban covering 3.383 ha in Kawasan Hutan Lindung Belaban, Village of Sungai Melayu, Sub district of Sungai Melayu Rayak, District of Ketapang, West Kalimantan Province in the same period.

These were conducted that villagers or LPHD know the potentials of conservation and values for village forest conservation and alternative source of income from non-wood products and environment services.

The training and collecting data was conducted on 13 – 15 September 2021 in Sembelangaan Village Forests and then on 17 – 19 September in Belaban Rayak Village Forest based on Covid-19 health protocol standards. It was attended by Chief of Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan (KPH) South Ketapang, head of village, chairman of Lembaga Pengelola Hutan Desa, and patrol team from each part.

Conservation Manager BGA Group, Andi M. Amin said that it is a routine to collect data about biodiversity every month that LPHD should do and followed up by Village Forest Security and Protection Patrol.

“PT. BGA facilitates transfer of knowledge by hoping that LPHD would be able and have competency to identify, manage, cultivate village forest biodiversity and could provide economic values, maintain and protect their forests from further threats, such as, fire, illegal logging, forest - land use change, and others that may damage forests,” he said.

He also mentioned that there are various diversity which have been identified from plot samples in the two village forests and they are good still. There are 37 kinds of trees, 40 species of birds found in village forests of Sembelangaan; 57 kinds of trees and 14 species of bird in village forest of Belaban Rayak

Referring to plot sample data, LPHD did assume carbon stocks in each village forests, such as, 132,96 tC/ha in Sembelangaan and 98,08 tC/ha in Belaban Rayak.

“It has been planned. PT. BGA, LPHD Sembelangaan and LPHD Belaban Rayak came to conclusion to make co-management village forest agreement in 2020 – 2021,” he said.

In June 2021 there was tree replanting (rehabilitation) in open areas and where the fire took place that covered 55 ha in both village forests.

Besides planting local endemic forest plantations, the villagers also planted the local, such as, crystal guava, longan, matoa, jengkol, petai, candlenut, banana, musangking durians, and industrial commodities in national scale, such as, coffee and cocoa to be sold (when being productive).

BGA helped to build lodge to operational process when cultivating such commodities, developed eco-agrotourism, and waterfall in Sembelangaan village forests.

Meanwhile the peat ecosystem corridor landscape cultivation approach around Sungai Putri – National Park Gunung Palung - Hutan Lindung Gunung Tarak (Sembelangaan village forests), PT BGA initiated Bumitama Biodiversity dan Community Project (BBCP) since 2017 to secure conservation areas, minimize deforestation, encourage the people’s better life around PT. GMS and PT. DAS (BGA Group).  (T2)

Source: InfoSAWIT, October 2021