Our organization, HIRAI works in Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Our target area is a village called Tumbang Nusa, and we work with the local community to plant seedlings and buy them from the existing nursery. We recently met with community representatives to develop a better understanding of the conditions facing the villagers as well as their hopes and challenges.

We invited 16 community representatives to collaborate. Most of the participants were women who owned a plant nursery and supplied seedlings for restoration projects around the village.

We gained new insights into restoration activities in the area around Tumbang Nusa. There are nearly 50 plant nurseries in the village, and almost every household has one. Most of them obtain seeds from the surrounding forest and cultivate them until they are ready to be planted in degraded areas. Most of the seeds they collect and plant are Dyera costulata (known as Jelutung), Shorea blangeran (Blangeran), and Pantung; all native to the peat swamp forest in Palangkaraya (a city in Central Kalimantan)..

The community is very open: they talk about their cooperation, how much the seeds cost, and what kind of seeds they collect. Many nurseries receive support from restoration projects by governments and companies, with some receiving more support than others. We aim to help less supported nurseries, and we source seedlings from them for future projects.

It is heartening to see the community eager to support the restoration project and to work with HIRAI by supplying seedlings of endemic species to be replanted in degraded areas. The passionate local community is one of the things that keep us grounded and one of the main reasons HIRAI exists. We look forward to continuing to work with and support the people of Tumbang Nusa for many years to come.