Degradation of Indonesia's peatlands leads to extreme poverty. Poverty is a main cause of peatland degradation. The Central Kalimantan Peatland Project is strongly determined to reverse this exploitative pattern into a sustainable pattern of development. The project is convinced that restoration of Kalimantan's peatlands assists in economic development, while poverty reduction – and awareness – are critical for safeguarding the ecosystem.
Assessing needs and development options
As a first step towards poverty reduction, the project partners conduct livelihood security assessments. Within communities throughout the project area they assess economic security, health, nutrition, education, shelter and other elements related to livelihood security. This information provides insight in the specific needs of the area's inhabitants. The project also assesses the potentials for development in the region. It determines different resources available, their value and the potential to use them sustainably.
Development of community plans
Together with local inhabitants so-called facilitators develop community plans which aim to increase livelihood security. Insights in local needs and options for development are used as a starting point. The facilitators do not only assist in the planning procedure, but also help local communities with implementation and assessment of their plans. As part of the community plans, local villagers receive training on farming technology and other (sustainable) development practices like fish pond development and sustainable harvesting of forest products. The project also assists with improving product quality and marketing of forest products (e.g. rattan and rubber) and crops. Raising awareness on (ecological) sustainability is an integral part of the planning procedure.