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Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve REDD+, Indonesia

Protecting 65,000 hectares of tropical peat swamp from palm oil conversion by engaging local communities through education and agroforestry training. The first project to have been validated as contributing to all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals by the SDVISta programme.

Project overview

  • Region: Asia

  • Project type: Forestry and landscapes

  • Standards: CCB, VCS

Based on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, this REDD+ project preserves carbon-dense tropical peat swamp by helping to halt deforestation of roughly 65,000 hectares of forest which was originally slated for conversion to palm oil plantations. The project focuses on both community development – encompassing 2,500 households living within the project area – and biodiversity conservation, particularly the protection of the 105,000 endangered Borneo Orangutans. In order to deliver on its goals, the project actively engages local communities to improve food security, income opportunities, health care, and education – all with the support of carbon finance.

Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to delivering emissions reductions to help take urgent action to combat climate change (SDG 13), the project delivers a number of other sustainable development benefits. It has been verified by the SDVISta standard (which is run by Verra) to contribute to all 17 SDGs, these include:

  • ​Life on Land: Indonesia has the largest number of threatened mammal species in the world and 55 threatened mammal species inhabit Rimba Raya biodiversity reserve. Adjacent to Tanjung Putting National Park, Rimba Raya provides an important natural buffer which strengthens the management capacity of the park. With the latest GPS technology, mobile phones are used to collect data during field surveys for biodiversity monitoring.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation: Peatland environments regulate local water flows. By minimising land use change, the project is helping to prevent downstream flooding. Through local partnerships it is also training communities to manufacture and sell inexpensive water filtration devices, to provide clean drinking water to the entire population of over 2,500 households.
  • Zero Hunger: Training on the growth of cash crops such as fruit trees offers communities an alternative source of income. Improved fishing technologies and agricultural training also helps improve food security.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: The project is building community centres offering facilities for park and project staff as well as for community organisations. They will supply news and radio communication facilities, libraries, and social and agricultural training programmes.

Read MORE INFORMATION to find out how the project delivers other sustainable development benefits.

It is estimated that over 85% of the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions derive from deforestation and peat fires. In addition to the released carbon emissions, palm oil conversion causes a host of other, often irreversible, ecological problems.

The Rimba Raya project has to date provided a $150,000 scholarship fund that will pay for 3750 community children to go to school.

Analysis of 100 different solutions to climate change found protecting tropical forests has the fifth greatest greenhouse gas reduction potential between 2020 and 2050

Project Drawdown

So far 200,000 trees have been planted by community managed and owned cooperatives

From 2001 to 2018 Indonesia lost 25.6 Mha of tree cover equivalent to 10.5 Gt of CO2 emissions

Global Forest Watch

Nisa Jalil’s Story

The Rimba Raya project is supplying village students with mobile phones, and uses Microsoft tablets to raise environmental awareness. Nisa, an employee of the Rimba Raya project, explains the importance of enabling access to technology. "This is Ridho from Sungai Perlu Village, Seruyan District. Like all seven year olds he have a wonderful grasp of technology and a great interest in photography - it was a pleasure to teach him how to take photos with the Microsoft Lumia Phone. Ridho was proud to announce that he would be taking many pictures of his beautiful village. It is important to teach kids who are quite isolated from the world about what is happening around them and about the amazing world of technology. The kids, in turn, teach each other their new found skills and in this way, manage to keep up with those who have greater exposure."

"Usually the orangutans are released into the Tanjung Puting National Park, but in March 2017, we witnessed the first release of 10 orangutans into the Rimba Raya project area. This was extremely rewarding for all members of the team."

Firnandez Ngariswara, Member of the Rimba Raya Project Team