The Reforestation program not only studies methods to reverse the trend of forest loss, but also provides local communities with opportunities to participate in restoring damaged areas and earn a sustainable income. The process, which provides paid employment for villagers, increases scientific knowledge in preparing, planting, and caring for seedlings, ensuring the area grows into lush, green rain forest. Though often threatened by the fires that ravage much of Indonesia each year, ASRI and the community have invested extensively in fire prevention and closely monitor the site during the dry season.
The ASRI staff primarily works with villagers around a devastated fragment, known as Laman Satong, where a logging company illegally cleared more than 100 hectares of rain forest several decades ago. Together, we have replaced much of this area in just a few years. ASRI’s second reforestation site, Sedahan, is a smaller, but critical “orangutan corridor” – a bridge between larger habitat areas – that allows animals to move freely and breed in the area.
*Photo credit: Chelsea Call