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Kalaweit
(Indonesia)

Region Asia

Kalaweit-Age of Union Dulan Rainforest Reserve

Kalaweit joined forces with Age of Union in 2021 to secure the 3,700 acres Kalaweit-Age of Union Dulan Rainforest Reserve, located located in Borneo's Central Kalimantan region, Barito Utara District, Indonesia. This project is meant to help protect the area and its critically endangered wildlife from palm oil production and coal mining activities causing massive deforestation and threats to biodiversity. In addition to the intrinsic value of securing the Dulan Forest's endangered ecosystems and wildlife, protecting the reserve locks down critical carbon stocks in the global fight against climate change.

Indonesia's rainforests are home to some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Many sources credit Indonesia as the most species rich country on earth. Spread over 18,000 islands, Indonesia contains the world's third largest area of rainforest after the Amazon and Africa's Congo Basin.

Aerial view of the Dulan Reserve

The Kalaweit-Age of Union Dulan Forest

The Kalaweit-Age of Union Dulan Forest‘s extreme diversity fosters an ideal environment for a plethora of species, including white-bearded gibbons, langurs, Malaysian sun bears, clouded leopards, proboscis monkeys, pigtail and crab-eating macaques, sambar deer, muntjacs, and more.

The local village of Butong, home to the indigenous Dayak community, relies on the forest and its lake for survival, particularly for fishing. This community is actively engaged in protecting the forest, which now spans 5000 acres thanks to their mayor who implemented Kalaweit’s conservation model to expand the reserve further.

The conservation work is initiated in close partnership with local communities, landowners, and provincial and central governments to create protected areas and sanctuaries for wildlife. Kalaweit also ensure that local populations have access to the land to carry out traditional activities, with the belief that a healthy forest is a forest with thriving wildlife and where people live in harmony

The forest is threatened by monocultures of palm oil plantations and mining extractions occurring around the reserve. The Kalaweit-Age of Union Dulan Forest serves as a vital refuge for animals, particularly over a hundred orangutans escaping deforestation.

Mission

The project aims to secure healthy habitats to protect animals while they are still in the forest through various strategies such as:

  • Expand the ranger program as the area to protect increases
  • Build up water units to fight forest fires, especially during El Nino
  • Acquire an extra light seaplane to engage in aerial monitoring
  • Support a reforestation program done via aerial seeding
  • Collaborate with local villages to protect the forest

 

Timeline

In the summer of 2021, Age of Union began their partnership with Kalaweit, committing to provide more US $1 million over four years.

  • September 2021: Protection of 250 acres, sealing the first step of the partnership
  • January 2022 to Dec 2023: 5000 acres are now secured and actively protected
  • April 2024: Dax Dasilva visits the Kalaweit-Age of Union Dulan Forest for the first time
  • Summer 2024: the two organization’s leaders commit to protecting the reserve’s critical carbon stocks in the global fight against climate change in the south, and expand it of 1700 acres.

 

Iconic Species: Bornean Orangutan

The decline of Bornean Orangutan populations is primarily attributed to habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation, with numbers decreasing by over 82% in the past 75 years. Recognized for their exceptional intelligence showcased through complex problem-solving, tool usage, and intricate social behaviors, Orangutans serve as a vital umbrella species endemic to the Indonesian Islands.

Understanding their critical role, conservation efforts aim to safeguard their habitats, particularly against threats like the palm oil industry, thereby indirectly protecting the broader ecosystem and ensuring the thriving of associated species within the region.

An orangutan in the canopy of the Dulan forest.

Project Visits

We place a high value on firsthand knowledge and maintaining direct contact with our partners. This is why we prioritize taking the time to personally engage with our projects and witness their initiatives.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Dulna forest two times, in 2023 and 2024, allowing our team to better understand what is at stake and how the partnership could grow to ensure the protection of this vital area.

People () The
change
makers

Chanee
Founder
Borneo, Indonesia

Born and raised in France, Chanee moved to Indonesia when he was 17 years old and gained his Indonesian citizenship in 2012. Since he was 12, he has dedicated his life to helping gibbons, in zoos first, which eventually led him to act in Indonesia, where he created the biggest protection center for gibbons in the world. Chanee created Kalaweit in 1998, with the overall goal of saving gibbons and their habitat in Sumatra and Borneo.

Nanto
Field Manager
Borneo, Indonesia

Chanee’s right hand who has been working with Kalaweit for the past 20 years. Nanto is in charge of the activities of the health center of Pararawen (Borneo) where the manages a team of about 35 people.

Pak Rindin
Ranger Manager
Borneo, Indonesia

Manager of the Dulan project and ranger patrols, Pak Rindin is born in 1978 and from the village of Butong. He has worked for Dulan since the beginning of the project, in 2019. He is married and has two children.

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