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Fauna & Flora International’s Community Forest Ecosystem Services (CFES) programme creates a direct link between healthy forests and improved well-being of forest-dependent communities. The programme helps Indonesian communities gain legal rights to forests and build the capacity to govern, protect and benefit from them.
Between 1990 and 2010 Indonesia lost over 24 million hectares of tropical forests, driven primarily by conversion to tropical agriculture. The country has recently overtaken Brazil as having the highest rate of deforestation globally.
The impacts of this trend are not only devastating for forest-dependent species, such as the Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger, rhinoceros and orang-utan, but also for local and indigenous people who rely on essential forest resources and services.
Since 2009, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been helping forest-edge communities secure rights and responsibilities to manage forests sustainably and protect threatened biodiversity and ecosystem benefits while creating opportunities for increased well-being of all community members, especially women.
The CFES programme uses the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism to create incentives for local communities to protect and enhance customarily-used but state-owned forests, and ensure the sustainable use of their resources.
REDD+ also allows the programme to invest in community-selected activities to support local development aspirations and contribute to improvements in community well-being.
The programme’s positive impacts will be assured by certification to the Plan Vivo Standard, with project validation scheduled for the end of 2014.
The programme is beginning in three pilot villages in diverse landscapes on the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Sumatra and Lombok.
Preserving unique, biodiversity-rich forests in Sumatra
Bordering Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sumatra, Durian Rambun village forest provides vital habitat extension for the Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger, the Endangered Malayan tapir, the Endangered Asiatic wild dog and many other threatened species.
CFES is supporting Durian Rambun village community to ensure that forest clearance does not proceed into the project area. The programme focuses on community patrols and improving the productivity of existing agriculture and agroforestry systems to increase well-being and reduce pressure on the forest.
Securing the future of Laman Satong’s last forests for people and wildlife on Borneo
Laman Satong village forest is located between Gunung Palung National Park, Gunung Tarak protection forest and two palm oil plantations in West Kalimantan Province, and is home to a range of IUCN-listed species, including the Endangered Bornean white-bearded gibbon and the Critically Endangered rusty brown dipterocarp tree.
CFES has supported the community of Laman Satong to protect its forest from conversion to palm oil plantation, and continues to empower the community to manage its forest sustainably, protecting its only natural water supply, while fostering an increased role for women in decision-making.
Protecting life-supporting watersheds in Lombok
Sitting at the foot of Mount Rinjani volcano on the island of Lombok, Aik Bual village forest is vital for water regulation, erosion control and other services and is home to many species including the Critically Endangered lesser sulphur crested cockatoo and the Endangered Sunda pangolin.
CFES is empowering the Aik Bual community to manage forest resources effectively through forest protection and improvement of community agroforestry, while engaging women in small enterprise development activities that benefit households as a whole.
Many communities are seeking the opportunity to join CFES and FFI is already supporting over 30 additional communities to secure recognised forest rights and develop sustainable forest management in these landscapes.
The IUCN has selected CFES as a programme through which delegates to the IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) can offset the carbon emissions of their travel. 100% of all income generated through offsets against WPC travel will be channelled directly to reward and support sustainable forest management by CFES pilot communities.
Read our programme brief to learn more about CFES.