Images courtesy of Borneo Nature Foundation.
Back in 2020, The Orangutan Conservancy funded Borneo Nature Foundation’s (BNF) 1,000-meter boardwalk. This boardwalk is 20cm wide, made of Banaus wood, and allows for access for seedling mobilization, planting, and monitoring by the BNF team.
The boardwalk’s construction began in March 2021 at BNF’s site within the Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia. This national park is home to 6,000 wild orangutans and spans across 560,000 ha of the largest continuous area of tropical peat-swamp forest that remains on Borneo.
Construction at the start of the boardwalk took approximately one month. This project created many short-term employment opportunities for the local communities, with members of the community nurseries and from villages of Kereng and Sabaru involved in the building process.
Section two of the boardwalk was built from June to July of 2021 from the seedling nursery to the planting area, which extended an entire kilometer. This stage of the boardwalk construction was again built by the surrounding community.
One of the primary parts of BNF’s conservation action is a large-scale reforestation project that aims to restore the areas of Sebangau National part that have been burnt in 2015 from fires that spanned 83,300 ha of the park. Because of these fires, the forest within the national park declined from 80.4% to 68.5%.
The boardwalks allow for the researchers, field teams, students, and volunteers to carry out their vital research and conservation initiatives with easier and safer access to the forest. Boardwalks also minimize much of the damage to surrounding peat soils, which often erode due to the team’s daily activities. The next phase of the boardwalk expansion will be a 2,600 m extension to the boardwalk that extends from its starting point at the seedling nursery to the top edge of the forest in the burnt area along the Ruslan Canal.