An aerial view shows the Amazon rainforest at the Bom Futuro National Forest near Rio Pardo in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil. (Reuters Photo/Nacho Doce)

Denmark Gives New Hope for Jambi's Hutan Harapan

BY :RATRI M. SINIWI

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Jakarta. Casper Klynge, Denmark's Ambassador to Indonesia, has signed a Rp 40 billion ($3 million) funding agreement with local conservation organization Burung Indonesia to ensure the Hutan Harapan, or Forest of Hope, program can continue in Jambi.

The funding will go towards assisting efforts to strengthen legislation regarding Hutan Harapan, the country's first Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) founded in 2008, as well as a restoration area for formerly logged forests.

Hutan Harapan is also home to 20 percent of the remaining Sumatran Lowland Rainforest and highly threatened wildlife endemic to Sumatra, such as the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant and birds.

Since 2011, the Danish government has supported the preservation of Hutan Harapan with aid reaching Rp 120 billion.

The signing took place at Hutan Harapan, alongside Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya, on Tuesday (27/09).

“Encroachment is threatening the livelihood of the local community inhabiting the [Hutan Harapan] forest as well as its biodiversity. There are no quick-fixes to this complicated challenge, but it is reassuring that the forest management with the support of the Indonesian Government and Denmark has managed to protect large areas of the pristine rainforest,” Klynge said in a statement.

Hutan Harapan, the ambassador said, is aimed at becoming a pioneer forest for sustainable forestry and a prototype for similar at-risk forests around Indonesia.

The forests included in the concession area have also seen fires, but nonetheless the minister deemed the project a success story.

“I am confident that other concession holders can learn from the way the forest management works together with local communities to avoid fires and preserve this pristine forest,” Siti said.

“I highly value our cooperation with the Danish government on these issues and the assistance to the Indonesian government in reducing use of forest land by local communities for subsistence purposes and promoting sustainable forest management.”

The 100,000 hectare restoration area of Hutan Harapan is hoped to help Indonesia cut down its carbon emissions, as it stores 10 million tons of carbon.

The Indonesian government has set aside 1.6 million hectares for ERC development, with hopes that Hutan Harapan will help attract investors to grow into this area of sustainability.

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