Climate and forest protection in Gorontalo
Conservation of a biodiversity hotspot
NABU and Burung Indonesia completed this project as part of BirdLife’s “Forest of Hope Program” in the province of Gorontalo, located in the island’s north. “68.5 percent of this province are still covered with forests characterised by a very high and unique biodiversity,” said Thomas Tennhardt, Director of International Department. “For this reason, Gorontalo is listed among the world’s 34 ‘biodiversity hotspots’.” The project area alone is inhabited by 36 endemic species of birds and numerous other animal species found only there, including the Gorontalo Macaque (Macaca nigrescens) and the Sulawesi Babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis).
The project area connected two conservation areas (Panua Nature Reserve and Nantu Wildlife Reserve) and six protected forests. It thusly joined a total of 257,000 hectares of forest area, of which a large part was historically spared from conversion and degradation, due to the hilly topography and difficult accessibility of the region.
The tropical forests in Gorontalo are a region with a particularly high biodiversity.
Scaly Kingfisher - photo: Barend van Gemerden / Vogelbescherming NL
Tarsier - photo: Solvin Zankl
The project of NABU and Burung Indonesia buildt on the foundations that were laid by investments of Vogelbescherming Nederland (VBN) and Burung Indonesia. Burung Indonesia, along with RSPB and BirdLife International, is a member of the BirdLife Consortium that established Harapan Rainforest, where NABU has been successfully implementing another IKI-funded project in collaboration with the consortium since 2009. Harapan Rainforest is the first Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) in Indonesia. The concessions were introduced in Indonesia by law in 2004. They forbid all clearing and the conversion of forest area to agriculturally used land. At the same time, they require the holder to protect and restore the forest ecosystem. Prior to their introduction, forest licenses in Indonesia had been granted only for timber extraction.
The project in Gorontalo helped to protect one of earth’s most species-rich forests and its rare inhabitants, and at the same time make an important contribution to climate protection. It promoted the sustainable management of natural resources and the preservation of the endangered tropical forest areas as carbon sinks and as havens of unique biodiversity. Furthermore, the project worked to benefit the livelihoods of local communities.
Project funding through the International Climate Initiative
The project was supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Since 2008, the Initiative has been financing climate and biodiversity projects in developing and newly industrialising countries, as well as in countries in transition. The IKI is a key element of Germany’s climate financing and the funding commitments in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Initiative places clear emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaption to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity.
Selected project outcomes
- Implementation of participatory land-use management strategies to conserve forest areas and maintain their connectivity
- Initial assessment and repeated monitoring of species richness within the project area and period
- Observed stabilisation of key species populations in the Popayato-Paguat landscape
- Increase in the population density of two key species: Knobbed Hornbill and Sulawesi Hornbill
- Forest cover increase of about 257 hectares
- Reduction of forest disturbances, e.g. reduction of illegal mining spots from 174 (2017) down to only 10 (2020)
- Rehabilitation and enrichment of 431 hectares of land to improve productivity, community livelihood and vegetation cover inside and outside of forest areas
- Livelihood improvement and capacity building, e.g. average income increase of 25% for the participating beneficiaries