Indonesia Reforestation Project
Indonesia is home to 23% of the world’s mangrove forests. Deforestation in the last 50 years has caused it to lose 40% of those vital forests.
Situated in the Coral Triangle in Indonesia is West Papua, an area recognized as the global center of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation. This is because of the broad range of species it supports, including at least 500 species of reef-building corals. Moreover, Biak Island is one of Indonesia’s most impoverished areas, where subsistence farmers and fishers make up approximately 75% of the population. Therefore, the focus is on the restoration of mangroves and tropical forests, along with promoting food security by helping local people plant agroforestry trees. In addition, the leadership team has mobilized local leaders and engaged planters to become part of the program, resulting in rapid expansion of planting efforts. Consequently, the project is now operational on several remote islands (Biak, Yapan, Seram, and Numfor) and mainland West Papua.
Mnurwar Planting Site
Coordinates: 1°6’39.37”S, 136°20’29.03”E Site Description
The Mnurwar planting is an area of degraded mangrove forest measuring 149 hectares along the coast of Biak Island in northeastern Indonesia.
Notably, Biak Island is a small island situated north of mainland Papua (New Guinea). The interior of the island is covered by lush tropical rainforest, while mangrove forests line the coasts. The forests of Biak provide habitat for endemic mammal and bird species and have significant benefits for local communities and livelihoods. Local people rely on healthy mangroves to support fisheries, provide timber, and protect against the impact of tropical storms and coastal erosion. Coastal mangroves act as a barrier between waves and land, mitigating the disastrous effects of large waves.
Unfortunately, in February 1996, a severe earthquake struck off the coast of Biak. Its devastating tsunami killed over 160 people, destroyed homes and infrastructure, and damaged coastal ecosystems. As a result, the communities and forests of Biak have been slow to recover.
However, the planting project at Mnurwar has been instrumental in bringing meaningful employment and ecological restoration to the area. Hence, contributing to the recovery of the communities and forests of Biak.