Improving local livelihoods through REDD+ in the Kalimantan forests and climate partnership

Photo: Daniel Murdiyarso CIFOROrganization: Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership

The Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership (KFCP) is a first-of-its-kind REDD+ demonstration on a large scale in Indonesia, testing out carbon emissions reduction, measurement, benefit sharing, and local institution support on 120,000 hectares of tropical peatland in Central Kalimantan.

What lessons can we learn so far from the successes and/or failures of the KFCP project in its attempts to trail all elements of REDD+ as a practical proof of concept? Are REDD+ demonstration projects important for serving as an example for the rest of the world and prove it can be done and how it might be replicated and scaled up by others? Can the project serve as a springboard for international REDD+ debate and discussions by providing methodologies and scientific lessons for policy makers whilst demonstrating benefit sharing mechanisms with local community members? Share your views – join the discussion at the bottom of this page!

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The governments of Indonesia and Australia share a strong commitment to reducing emissions from avoiding deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Based on a recognition that good forest management is critical to combat climate change, this shared commitment is formalised through the Indonesia – Australia Forest Carbon Partnership (IAFCP) and put into practice through the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership (KFCP). This is the first large-scale REDD+ demonstration activity of its kind in Indonesia and the largest anywhere in tropical peatlands. The demonstration activity is situated in 120,000 hectares of forested and degraded tropical peatland in the province of Central Kalimantan.

KFCP aims to show how REDD+ can work in practice by trialing fair and effective approaches to:

  1. Demonstrating emissions reduction from peat swamp forests
  2. Demonstrating emissions estimations in peat swamp forests
  3. Demonstrating benefit sharing options
  4. Supporting local REDD+ institutions
The Problem: Destruction of forests and forest-based livelihoods ↓

The destruction of around 1.4 million hactares of peat swamp forests in Central Kalimantan in Indonesia in the mid-1990s greatly impacted the livelihoods, natural environment, and access to forest resources of the Indigenous Dayak people living in and around this diverse ecosystem.  Known as the Mega Rice Project or Projek Lahan Gambat (PLG), this scheme was meant to boost Indonesia’s rice production.  This never happened. The  large-scale clearing and draining of the peat swamp forest, followed by a short-lived illegal logging boom, caused a long-term loss of natural capital for traditional livelihoods, in particular timber and non-timber forest products, game, and fish, and drove households to seek alternative livelihoods. Many of these are unsustainable and are driving further degradation of peatlands, with increased greenhouse gas emissions including from peat fires.


The Solution & Method: Innovative approaches to improve livelihoods ↓

The program was piloted in 2010, with about 75 men and women in two villages participating in the farmer field schools.  KFCP also organized a multistakeholder workshop on ways to improve the rubber value chain for farmers, collectors, factory owners, and government.  The pilot proved that farmers could produce significantly improved yields of higher quality latex and that factories would pay a higher price for the higher quality product. “With these new skills, I now have confidence to sell rubber directly to factories. I am making Rp18,000 per kilo instead of Rp5,000 as before,” said one local rubber farmer of what he gained from the farmer field school (after the pilot program).

Farmer field schools have since been established in all villages in the KFCP area and provide the means to deliver an expanded livelihoods program including the introduction of hybrid rubber varieties, non-rubber options such as fish ponds and mixed agroforestry, and a micro-finance component. Fire management techniques are also taught in the farmer field schools.  Six villages have, with KFCP’s support, developed plans for “village forests” (hutan desa), which will enable them to gain legal recognition as legitimate managers of their own, community-based forestry programs.


  • john November 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I love how you describe the actual and direct impact on smallholder communities. No big blabla, but direct work with the farmers.
    You will have to tell me where I can read more on this project.

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