In 1995 President Suharto ordered over one million hectares of peat swamp in Central Kalimantan to be drained for conversion to rice growing agricultural areas. This was known as the “mega rice project”. After the peat was drained and canals built, it was found that the soil conditions were not suitable for supporting intensive agriculture. The canals have since been used for transportation of timber and much of the peatland is either abandoned, being turned into palm oil plantations or being used by indigenous people for small holder agricultural purposes. The degraded land burns frequently, leading to transboundary haze, high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and increases in livelihood vulnerability.
The ex mega rice project (EMRP) area faces many challenges that stem from high incidences of poverty and poor access to sustainable livelihoods, as well as severe environmental degradation. Forest and peatland restoration is needed in order to support sustainable livelihoods in local communities and to increase biodiversity levels so that the long-term productivity of the forest and peatland is maintained and enhanced for provision of eco-system services. However there are many challenges to sustainable development
in Central Kalimantan, include illegal logging, fire management, drainage of peatland, sustainable cultivation, plantation expansion, encroachment on protected and conservation areas and illegal mining.
In acknowledgement of the great need for preventing further degradation and deforestation in the ex- mega rice project areas, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued an instruction in 2007 (2/2007) requiring the rehabilitation and conservation of the Ex Mega Rice Project (EMRP) area. In 2008 a comprehensive EMRP Master Plan was drafted to achieve this goal. The Master Plan for the Rehabilitation and Revitalization of EMRP in Central Kalimantan has identified six main programmes to support sustainable development in the area, namely:
- § Fire prevention and management;
- § Spatial management and infrastructure;
- § Sustainable peatland management and conservation;
- § Agricultural revitalization;
- § Community empowerment and socio-economic development; and
- § Institutional development and capacity building.
To each of these six main programme areas the International Labour Organization can bring strategies and methodologies which will optimize employment and income generations impacts for the local population. In line with the EMRP’s Master Plan, the pilot project will draw on traditional knowledge and practices to promote environmental restoration activities, green value chain, and local economic development. ILO
Core Conventions and focus on social justice will provide the framework for the consultation with and the participation of communities in the design and implementation of activities. In particular, Convention 169 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, as well as the Free and Informed Prior Consent (FPIC) framework, will provide the guiding principles for working with communities.
- 1. Demonstration on environmental infrastructure investments that support responses to climate change using participatory local resource-based approaches and techniques to improve access to sustainable livelihoods;
- 2. Increased capacity of communities and local authorities to improve access to socioeconomic facilities and markets in rural areas in support of sustainable livelihoods through meaningful participation in decision-making processes and local resource-based strategies; and
- 3. A participatory model for green value chain development and sustainable livelihoods is introduced through improving the capacity of local stakeholders.
- § Joint Secretariat for REDD+ in Central Kalimantan
- § Provincial Commission on REDD+
- § Provincial and District Offices of the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration
- § Provincial and District Offices of the Ministry of Public Works
- § Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations
- § Employers’ Organizations
- § Workers’ Organizations