The Bornean Rainforest is home to immense biodiversity and hundreds of Indigenous communities but is one of the world's most endangered ecosystems. Much like the Amazon, socio-economic inequalities are root causes of practices like forest burnings wildlife poaching, and oil palm plantation expansion. Planet Indonesia's SMART Patrol program works with local community members to form patrol teams to deter illegal activities while working with poachers and loggers to build alternative livelihoods.
One of the last strongholds of the Bornean Rainforest, The Gunung Nuit Nature Reserve, is home to immense biodiversity and dozens of Indigenous communities but highly at-risk. Socio-economic inequalities are the major root causes of the environmental degradation there, as communities turn to unsustainable use of natural resources such as illegal logging, wildlife poaching and oil palm plantations as a mean of survival.
Our project breaks the cycle of poverty to catalyze conservation. Our SMART Patrol program assists local communities to build alternative livelihoods in rainforest patrols for poachers and loggers. The patrols actively deter illegal activities and conduct forest restoration. They also act as ambassadors to create their own ripples of change. Not only that, individuals who join our SMART program gain access to services in health, literacy, and business as PII focuses on a holistic solution.
We focus intensely on capacity building so communities can independently continue the patrols and programs. Embedded within a holistic solution system that promotes socio-economically beneficial natural resource management practices, we have seen tree cover loss drop by 56% within primary rainforests and a reported increase in participants' standard of living. The program builds positive relationships between community and forests so communities continue self-sufficiency and sustainability.