For the last three years we have been working with The World Land Trust to balance the carbon emissions, associated with business travel, for our London office. As we continue to look at ways we can reduce our impact on the environment we are increasing the number of offices we offset with the World Land Trust to 4, inclusive of London, and I’m pleased to announce a new partnership with Save the Orangutan. Through our new partnership we will be balancing the impact of flights, from our remaining 8 offices, by supporting a replantation project in Mawas, on Indonesian Borneo.
Mawas is an area of 309,000 hectares in central Borneo. The area houses healthy virgin peat-swap forest and is home to about 3,000 wild organutans, making it one of the largest populations of organutans in the world.
During the 1990’s the Mega Rice Project was launched in an attempt to make Indonesia self-sustaining on rice. The project was however abandoned in 1998, more that 0.5 million hectares of peat forest was left drained of water, making the forest highly receptacle for forest fires.
Since 2006 Save the Orangutan and BOS Foundation have been working in Mawas to conserve the remaining forest and its organutan population, and restore the lost peat lands of Mawas. In an area named Rant au Upak covering 1,000 hectares in Mawas, Save the Orangutan is now replanting the forest where it has been lost. Canals have drained peat, illegal loggers have cut down valuable trees and forest fires have cleared parts of the area. In collaboration with 4 local villages native seeds are collected and seedlings are grown in nurseries managed by the local communities to be used in reforesting the area. The project thereby also provides sustainable livelihoods for the local communities living in the forest.
It will take many years before the forest is fully re-established, but the trees grow meters in a few years attracting birds, lizards, insects and small mammals, bringing a lot of additional plant species. Over the years the replanted forest will grow and the organutan population in Mawas will have room to develop and expand.