Protect endangered forests on Flores Island
Duration of the partnership
Flores Island, one of the Sonde Islands in Indonesia, is fragile: its exceptional biodiversity, often endemic, is threatened by the slash-and-burn method used for breeding, which is the primary source of income of the local populations.
Cœur de Forêt’s project aims to protect the forest of the Wolomezé Sacred Mountain and the surrounding area, via a reforestation program reintroducing Sandalwood and other endangered tree species, and by promoting the economic benefits of biodiversity.
This project is part of a program initiated in 2014 with the local association Puge Figo which helps farmers begin producing non-timber forest products (NTFPs) like vanilla and patchouli.
This sector is an economic alternative to slash-and-burn farming and the use of pesticides. Pesticides have been used massively over the past 15 years, largely destroying the productions of small growers and driving them into poverty.
This project involves the local populations in the reforestation campaigns to plant Sandalwood and citrus trees like the Combava, educates them about conserving natural resources and also inventories the forest resources to identify threatened species and/or those with development potential.
Bolstered by initial support from the MDM Foundation between 2017 and 2020, Cœur de Forêt has taken significant action to curb slash-and-burn practices and conserve forest ecosystems on Flores island.
Reviewing partnership results:
Through this renewed partnership, Cœur de Forêt will strengthen its reforestation efforts, community awareness initiatives and training programmes with the goal of empowering small producers.
Targets for 2021–2023:
600 growers/farmers, who lack access to the market and face financial problems, are enrolled in the Cœur de Forêt project. 200 students are receiving environmental education via the project.
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