To encourage the acceleration of green development, the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan continues developing strategies and innovations to manage natural resources sustainably. One way is through the Green Development Agreement or the Green Growth Compact (GGC). GGC is a collaborative action involving various parties, including the government, private sector, non-governmental organizations, universities, indigenous peoples, and civil society, to accelerate the achievement of the Green East Kalimantan (Kaltim) goal.
Implementing the Green Development Agreement in this province is under the coordination of the East Kalimantan Regional Council on Climate Change (DDPI) with the support of the Nusantara Nature Conservation Foundation, which has developed dozens of initiatives for site, landscape, and jurisdiction-based natural resource management models.
Since its declaration in 2016, until 2022, GGC has developed 11 model initiatives. The eleven model initiatives include the Berau Forest Carbon Program, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility-Carbon Fund, Sustainable Plantation, Management of Wehea-Kelay Essential Ecosystem Areas, Social Forestry, Strengthening Forest Management Units, Climate Village Program (ProKlim), Mahakam Delta Area Management Partnership, Implementation of akSi Inspiratif warGA untuk Perubahan (SIGAP), Control of Land and Garden Fires, Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change in Balikpapan City.
From 2023, two new model initiatives related to the management of wetland ecosystems have been added. This model initiative is being implemented in Muara Siran Village, Muara Kaman District, Kutai Kartanegara, Mesang Lake, Long Menegara District, and Lake Kenohan Suwi, Muara Ancalong, East Kutai.
"Based on the results of the study and analysis, the Mesang-Suwi wetland ecosystem and the Muara Siran peatland ecosystem will be an addition to the 11 model initiatives that have been formed under the Green Development Agreement," said the Secretary of the East Kalimantan Regional Council on Climate Change Professor Soeyitno Soedirman, at Coffee Morning program on the Progress of the East Kalimantan Green Development Agreement, Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
A Wetland ecosystem is an area of inundation or water storage area, which has the characteristics of land and water—called a wetland ecosystem if it has the following five criteria. First, unique ecosystems and/or various types of vegetation; second, a habitat for water birds and/or migratory birds; third, the habitat of endangered, endemic, and/or protected animal species; fourth, a place to reserve clean water for the surrounding area; and/or; fifth, having economic, scientific, spiritual/cultural values and other ecosystem services (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 2021).
Wetland ecosystems that stand out are swamp, riparian, and peat swamp forests. Peat ecosystems play an important role in maintaining the balance of the water system, carbon stocks, and biodiversity habitats. The existence of peat lakes that are maintained can save the economy of the residents, as well as maintain the function of peat.
The wetland in Muara Siran Village is a peat ecosystem whose management has been consistently assisted by the Human Biosphere Foundation (Bioma) since 2012. They have rehabilitated the peat through alternative economic improvements, such as cultivating swallow nests. This cultivation makes the community more concerned about peat ecosystems. If the peat lake is damaged, the production of swallow nests will also decrease. "Our residents have committed to protecting the forest; if the forest is damaged, then the welfare of the residents will also be reduced from the production of swiftlets," said Chairman of the Muara Siran Natural Resource Management Institute Abdul Agus Nur. His hope for the status of this model initiative is that there will be harmony between the potential of the village and government programs that will go into the future. From yesterday's discussion, some Regional Apparatus Organizations plan to get involved in village development, such as the development of ecotourism and capture fisheries.
As for the wetlands in Lake Menegara and Lake/Kenohan Suwi, the Ulin Foundation and the Indonesian Equator Conservation Foundation (Yashiwa) are implementing them. The two organizations work collaboratively to help manage a vital ecosystem area in Mesang-Suwi with an endemic species of black badas crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis). This crocodile is listed as a protected animal in the Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia Number: P.106/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/12/2018. In addition to the black badass crocodile, this 13,000-hectare area is also the habitat of away cats, proboscis monkeys, fake crocodiles, tong-tong herons, and belida fish.
The existence of wetlands in Mesang-Suwi has received attention from the international community because of its rare species and unique ecosystems in the form of swamps and riparian. "If we fail to manage the Mesang-Suwi wetlands, it will receive global attention," said Yashiwa Chair Monica Kusneti on a similar occasion. In this area, assisting agencies still face challenges from fishermen who use non-environmentally friendly fishing gear (stun) and oil palm planters who clear land in riparian areas. "We still need a lot of support to encourage parties to manage this area sustainably," said Monica.
Head of the DDPI Mitigation Working Group, Doctor Fajar Pambudi, said the two ecosystems had passed seven screenings to become model initiatives. As a model initiative, some criteria must be met. Namely, following GGC objectives, involving multi-stakeholders, having supporting institutions, balancing economic and ecological aspects, having financing and funding potential, the potential to be replicated and sustainable, and having possible results within three years.
YKAN Green Development Senior Manager Alfan Subekti said these two confirmed model initiatives prove that commitment to green development is more than just a slogan since the Kaltim Hijau Program was declared in 2010. "Stakeholders in East Kalimantan are increasingly eager to take collaborative actions in site-based natural resource management," he said on Thursday, March 2. Alfan believes that the awareness of the parties is a sign that conservation work is not a silent job.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.