El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) refers to the cycle of warm and cold Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. These warm and cold phases are known as El Niño, and La Niña, respectively. El Niño events typically come around every 3-7 years (~5 years on average) and can last between nine months to two years. The most recent El Niño occurred in 2018-2019, bringing with it a lack of rainfall that plunged parts of Indonesia into extreme drought.
The past few decades have seen the rapid advancement of agricultural technology, with widespread use of genetic engineering and chemical fertilisers. However, many movements are now returning to more environmentally friendly modes of agriculture by enhancing ancestral farming methods to fit the times.
PALANGKA RAYA – The allotment in Kalampangan Village looks lush and green, packed with different kinds of fruit and vegetables. Plants thrive in these peatlands, which are treated by Randi and Rusman, young farmers from the community empowerment group JPIC Kalimantan Activists.
The scorching sun that morning did nothing to lessen the enthusiasm of the people of Marang, an urban village located in the Bukit Batu District, Palangka Raya City. On June 29, 2022, the Fire Care Community (Masyarakat Peduli Api or MPA) of Marang Village was inaugurated after its formation by the Sebangau National Park Agency (BTNS) and the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) Indonesia.
Forest fires remain a serious threat throughout Central Borneo, especially in peatlands, which are prone to burning during the dry season.
Routine patrols are key to effective fire control and prevention during Borneo’s dry season. As part of our wider fire mitigation strategy, the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) conducts regular patrols with our partners at the Centre for International Cooperation in the Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP). These patrols are concentrated in fire-prone areas of the National Peat-swamp Laboratory (LAHG), a special zone within the Sebangau National Park.
The Sebangau National Park Agency (BTNS) and the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) Indonesia are carrying out an intensive programme to plant one million trees for ecosystem restoration.
If water is the lifeblood of Borneo, its rivers are the veins and arteries. In Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, there are several major rivers, including the Barito River, Kapuas River, and the Kahayan River. Besides nourishing the region’s forests, these rivers also function as an important food source for local communities.
Gray clouds blanketed Palangka Raya that morning, as we drove 20 minutes from the city center to the village of Kereng Bangkirai in the nearby Sebangau District. Getting out of the car, we crossed a rickety walkway over the peat-swamp to a small wooden house, propped up on stilts above the black water.