Indonesia Officially an Eden Project Nation
It’s official! As of September 26, 2017, Indonesia is the newest project nation of Eden Reforestation Projects.
After six months of careful considerations, Eden CEO and Founder, Steve Fitch, visited three potential project sites in Indonesia this past month. Steve’s trip proved to be very beneficial for Eden, resulting in the decision to propose a project site on Biak Island and a project with the Baduy Village on West Java.
Everyone on Eden’s team is excited for this next step in restoring deforested land and saving impoverished communities. Continue reading to learn more about the history and the uniqueness of our new project sites.
Biak Island is at the end of the world. It’s beautiful, warm, humid and exotic. A generation ago the population of Biak were still living in the stone age. Today, they are slowly making the transition into modernity, even as they seek to retain their historic value as forest dwellers. Their unique transition is reflected by the island’s landscape. After leaving the capital city, (also called Biak), there is a rapid transition into the primeval. There are scattered villages here and there, but the landscape is largely dominated by majestic old growth tropical forest right up to the point where you hit the seacoast. Then, for as far as the eye can see, the jungle gives way to beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal-clear azure seas. Beautiful gives way to gorgeous.
Unfortunately, in 1996, Biak was hit hard by a tsunami caused by an 8.2 earthquake that jolted the island. Remnants of trees completely destroyed by the tsunami still can be seen in the clear waters near the shore. The disaster is largely responsible for the deforestation along the coast.
Biak is a relatively small island and part of Indonesia’s West Papua (New Guinea) Province. The island is located at the extreme eastern edge of Indonesia. At least 50% of Biak’s forest remains pristine. Another 25% is degraded, but could quickly recover.
Baduy Tribal Forest (West Java)
The Baduy Tribe consists of 13,000 members living in 12 distinct village groups. The tribe is led by a council of elders, one elder from each village. The members of the Baduy tribe are divided into three different lifestyle groups: those who now live a “modern life” in villages located just outside of their forest, villages on the edge of the forest who make a living selling forest products (honey, wood carvings and beautiful handmade shawls), and those who continue to live within the forest as hunter-gathers. The Baduy forest is one of two pristine old-growth forest remaining on Java.
Because of the Baduy tribe’s strict rules, the Baduy allow “foreigners” (tourists) into their buffer zone forest, but they are not allowed to cut down or disturb the forest in any way. The inner part of the forest is restricted to Baduy villagers only.
Read more about Steve’s amazing experience with the Baduy elders in next week’s blog.
Indonesia will be a truly unique and incredible project for Eden Reforestation Projects. We are currently preparing our partnerships and prepping for the first phases of starting a new project. Keep up to date with the progress by following us on Facebook and signing up for our bi-monthly emails.