Please see the "Forest for the Air" Project site for the progress after November 2014.
Greetings from Indonesia
In December last year, we finished replanting saplings in 300 hectares of land as planned. The reforestation site has expanded steadily since 2008 thanks to help from the participating farmers and the national park rangers. The trees we planted five years ago have grown tall and strong. The saplings planted only recently still need care. Each month we patrol the land and continue to remove weeds that prevent the small saplings from growing.
Progress in the reforestation project
Too little rain, too much rain… Risks are a given in agriculture that depends on nature. Many of the farmers participating in the project have no savings to rely on in times of need. The project continues to support these farmers by introducing new means of earning an income such as growing vegetables, farming freshwater fish, and raising goats. Harvests of cucumbers, common beans, and ginger—selected by the farmers themselves for the high demand at the market—are now a key source of livelihood. Revived by water delivered from the source through pipes drawn in the project, the fish pond is now home to a school of fish. And goats have given birth to kids. We are hoping that the vegetables, the fish, and the kids all grow big and healthy.
Improvement in community livelihood
Between January and March, we visited four elementary schools, two junior high schools, and one high school together with a local public health nurse. Some 50 students at each school learned about the environment, health, and sanitation through slide shows, films, games, quizzes, music, discussion, and books. The children are holding up pictures of everyone’s favorite animal: the Javan gibbon.
“Dr. Green” and mobile environmental education program
We organized two important meetings, one with local community leaders in January, and another with staff members of the national park in March. With the 50 or so participants of each session, we reflected on the project’s activities and discussed our plans for the future.
The local community leaders thanked the project’s efforts such as to improve community livelihood, as well as the Green Wall Project for serving as a “bridge” and mending the distant relationship between the communities and the national park. Both the local communities and the national park expressed their wish to expand the project further.
Meeting with community leaders (left) and with national park officials (right)
On March 27, 2014, a family of four Javan gibbons returned to the forest. Jowo and Bombom were placed in the care of the Javan Gibbon Center six years ago. With rehabilitation, they acquired the skills to live in the forest, became a couple, and had two young: Yani in 2010, and Yudi in 2013.
Jowo (left), Bombom with younger offspring Yudi (center), and Yani (right)
The family’s new habitat is Mt. Malabar, about 80 kilometers from here. After spending one month getting used to the area, the family was released into the forest. Every morning, their calls can be heard echoing through the forest of Mt. Malabar. Jowo, Bombom, Yani, and Yudi—stay well and have a wonderful life!
From transitional cage into the forest
The signboard in Sordog Village and that newly installed in Panyusuhan Village last November are both in good condition.
Signboard in Sordog Village (top) and in Panyusuhan Village (bottom)