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Preserving Indonesia's Tropical Forests


FILE - A male orangutan hangs from a tree in Gunung Leuser National Park in Langkat district of the Indonesia's North Sumatra Province.

FILE - A male orangutan hangs from a tree in Gunung Leuser National Park in Langkat district of the Indonesia's North Sumatra Province.

"The United States is proud to work with Indonesia and our partners to conserve some of the world’s most diverse tropical rain forest through a debt-for-nature swap."

The Tropical Forest Conservation Act Kalimantan, or TFCA Kalimantan, a partnership program among the United States Government, the Government of Indonesia, The Nature Conservancy and the Yayasan World Wide Fund for Nature -Indonesia has recently approved 14 new grants worth $3.3 million to local Indonesian non-governmental organizations.

These NGOs will work with forest-dependent communities to conserve tropical forests, protect natural resources and wildlife, and improve livelihoods. This is the third cycle of the $28.5 million planned investment in forest conservation efforts in Kalimantan under the TFCA. This debt-for-nature swap agreement, signed in 2011, promotes sustainable forest resource management, biodiversity conservation, and community development. The cooperating Indonesian NGOs will implement 14 projects in East, West, and Central Kalimantan.

The newly approved projects will provide incentives for forest-dependent communities to conserve tropical forests by improving local livelihoods, focusing in areas such as community development, conflict resolution in forest management, and ecotourism. Some of the projects will also support conservation efforts of near-extinct animals in Kalimantan, including rhinoceros, Irrawaddy dolphins, and orangutans.

Since 2009, the United States Government has worked with the Government of Indonesia to support its forest conservation efforts. Under three TFCA agreements, Indonesia’s debt payments are reduced in exchange for activities that conserve tropical forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan. These activities build strong foundations for local involvement in biodiversity protection, sustainable use, and conservation policy-making. The TFCA Kalimantan agreement is administered by the Kehati Foundation.

Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Mark Clark said, “The United States is proud to work with Indonesia and our partners to conserve some of the world’s most diverse tropical rain forest through a debt-for-nature swap. Protecting the forest helps conserve the world’s rich biodiversity, and preserves the ability of forests to sustain livelihoods for local residents.”

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