Supporting associations

Protect endangered forests on Flores Island

Promote and protect local biodiversity

Protect endangered forests on Flores Island

Project leader
logo Cœur de Forêt

Duration of the partnership


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The project goals


The island of Flores, located in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, is fragile: its exceptional biodiversity, often endemic, is threatened by slash-and-burn practices for livestock farming, which remains the primary source of income for local island populations.

The Cœur de Forêt project aims to preserve the forest of the Sacred Mountain Wolomezé and its surroundings through a reforestation program reintroducing threatened endemic trees such as Sandalwood, as well as through economic valorization of biodiversity.

This project is part of a program initiated in 2014 with the local association Puge Figo: farmers are supported in establishing a forest products sector including vanilla and patchouli.

This sector provides an economic alternative to agricultural practices involving burning and pesticide use. The latter, used extensively since the 2000s, have largely destroyed the yields of small producers and plunged them into significant economic hardship.

This initial response to local socio-economic challenges complements efforts to engage communities in reforestation campaigns for Sandalwood and fruit species like Kaffir lime and Citrus. The project mobilizes and raises awareness among local populations about natural resource conservation, while also aiming to inventory forest resources to identify present species, those under threat, and/or with development potential.


Results of the project from 2017 to 2023:

The MDM Foundation supported the actions of Cœur de Forêt from 2017 to 2023. The funds provided contributed notably to:

1.Long-term restoration of forest ecosystems, including:

  • 346,544 trees planted of 57 different species across 3 plantation models.
  • 156 hectares benefiting from a program to combat slash-and-burn through reforestation and 41 hectares in agroforestry for agropastoral purposes.
  • An awareness action plan reaching over 3,000 children and more than 2,000 adults.

2.Development of agroecological crops with higher added value, including:

  • A diagnosis on livestock practices to find alternatives to slash-and-burn.
  • Development of vanilla and patchouli value chains in agroforestry.
  • Training of 283 producers in agroforestry since 2017.

3.Development of sustainable and fair value chains that meet market demands, including:

  • Launch of the Nuantia commercial platform with 13 products marketed.
  • Entrepreneurial agriculture training for 54 producers.
  • Sale of 100 kg of patchouli for export and 124 kg of vanilla locally.


Objectives of the new partnership cycle from 2024 to 2026:

The MDM Foundation is renewing its support to the association for a third 3-year partnership cycle with the following objectives:

1.Preserve the island’s forest ecosystems:

  • Forest protection actions in 15 communities : formulation of 5 forest ecosystem management plans covering 5 hectares, establishment of 40 hectares in agroforestry.
  • Restoration of mangroves and 15 hectares of watershed.
  • Awareness-raising activities for residents on the importance of forest preservation.

2.Develop agroecology:

  • Raise awareness about the harmful effects of slash-and-burn and existing alternatives among local populations.
  • Support agroforestry for agropastoral purposes with 50 producers over 10 hectares.
  • Restore areas devastated by agricultural fires through the planting of 36,000 trees.

3.Improve socio-economic conditions of residents :

  • Support farmers in developing forest product value chains such as vanilla and patchouli.
  • Develop the Nuantia brand and product range with 4 new products.



The Beneficiaries

600 producers/farmers, characterized by limited market access and unstable financial situations, enrolled in the Cœur de Forêt project. By 2023, more than 5,400 individuals benefited from the association’s awareness-raising initiatives.

The project benefits

Coeur de Forêt uses a holistic approach. Based on the local environmental and socio-economic problems, they work with local actors and populations to come up with solutions. This approach includes financial objectives, without which no one would be receptive to forest conservation advocacy. The purpose of the project is to promote self-sufficiency. By developing and transferring skills and knowledge about local resources, by teaching local populations that their financial situations depend on protecting natural resources, the NGO is laying the foundation for a virtuous circle.


“What I like the most is spending time with the growers who are partners of the association. Going from field to field to meet new people and following the progress of people already in the program. This is where I’m happy and I feel truly useful. This is an opportunity for me to help the people I work with and try to solve some of their problems.”

Om Digon Secretary of PUGE FIGO, local partner of Coeur de Forêt in Flores
logo Cœur de Forêt

Project leader Cœur de Forêt

"The Association Coeur de Forêt was created in 2005. The vocation of the association is to protect and promote forests and the people who live there. The objectives of the association are to:
  • Reforest and preserve the biodiversity of forest ecosystems
  • Promote natural resources by transforming them locally into products with higher added value
  • Organise the sectors to help small growers via fair and transparent trade.