Kahayan Hilir Villages

Protecting peatlands, livelihoods and a thriving local culture


Kayahan Hilir, Central Kalimantan

Project Operator


Total Area

16,930 ha

Certification in Progress
Many peatland areas in the Kayahan Hilir sub-district of Kalimantan in Indonesia were devastated by forest fires in 2015. Building on recent efforts to protect the forest, the Rimba Collective is working to increase peat forest cover, improve the function of peat forest ecosystems, support livelihoods, and protect and conserve biodiversity.
Peat canal with thick bushes on the sides
Peat canal with thick bushes on the sides. ©Lestari Capital

Project background

Peatlands are in swamp areas, which are supposed to be wet. But for years, Indonesia’s use of peatlands involved significant conversion and degradation, including draining for palm oil plantations, forestry and agriculture. These activities dried the peatlands, allowing the high carbon contents to burn more easily under low moisture conditions. 

Forest fires in 2015 destroyed more than 2.6 million hectares of forests and peatlands in Indonesia, including Gohong, Kalawa, Mentaren I, and Buntoi, which sit on the peatlands area of Central Kalimantan. Since then, substantial efforts have been made by the government and various organizations to prevent such fires to happen again. But there remains much more work to do. 

Forest fires in 2015 destroyed more than 2.6 million hectares of forests and peatlands in Indonesia.

KpSHK, an organization that works for protection, conservation, and management of natural resources in Indonesia, is collaborating with Rimba Collective on the integrated management of peat forest ecosystems in the Kahayan Hilir Sub-District. 

Buntoi village at the banks of Sungai Kahayan
Buntoi village at the banks of Sungai Kahayan. ©Lestari Capital

Location & total area

Four villages in Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan, with a total area of 16,930 ha. Detailed location and total area based on the licenses given by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry are as follows:  

  1. Gohong Village Forest (3,115 ha)
  2. Kelurahan Kalawa Village Forest (4,230 ha)
  3. Mentaren I Village Forest (1,835 ha)
  4. Buntoi Village Forest (7,025 ha) 

Village forests in the four areas of Kahayan Hilir sub-district are peatlands, ecosystem which are rich in biodiversity yet vulnerable to fire hazards and other threats, therefore must be conserved and protected.

Eddy “Oeban” Subahani

Field Project Manager, KpSHK

What is special about this project 

The forest fire in 2015 destroyed the area covered by the project. One of the efforts aimed at protecting the peatlands is to encourage communities to grow paludiculture (plants native to peat swamps) crops. These crops have economic value, and Not only that, growing them means that people need to visit the peatlands often, which helps monitor the risk of future fires.

Government initiatives for these areas have opened doors to opportunities for improving people’s livelihoods, conservation, and forest restoration.

We are supporting the government's efforts and always aligning with the government's goals. With KpSHK, we are working with the four forest villages to protect and restore their natural forest and peatland areas, which will deliver strong Ecosystem Service Outcomes (ESO) for Rimba Collective partners. In turn, the partners support the financial platform by providing long-term funding.

How we add value to this project 

A lot of villages in Pulang Pisau Regency, including the four forest villages under the Rimba Collective financial platform, have benefited from funding and training projects through CSR and other philanthropy programs. They have also benefited from government funding and support. 

We focus on people’s livelihoods, as well as improving biodiversity, forest restoration and conservation over 25 years. This long-term approach creates meaningful change in the local communities. 

There are five related target initiatives for this project:

  • Restoration of swamp peat forest
  • Implementation of mitigation measures planned to prevent forest fires,
  • Capacity building of forest personnel
  • Establishment of an integrated plan for a forest management unit that will work in compliance with regulations at regional and national levels and strengthen social forestry in the project area.
  • Improvement of community welfare


There are four project activities designed to deliver against the target initiatives for this project: 

  • Improving peat forest cover by adding vegetation or plants that can be utilized as non-timber forest products by the village forest management community under the coordination of the local LPHD (also, the natural regenerating process through the protection of the village forest area)
  • Increasing the function of peat forest ecosystems as protected areas and stabilizing water reservoirs in the hydrological cycle. Also, reducing the incidence of forest and peat fires in the area
  • Supporting the livelihoods of rural communities
  • Protecting and maintaining biodiversity in village forest areas through forest protection activities

Stories from the ground


  • KpSHK (Konsorsium Pendukung Sistem Hutan Kerakyatan)

    KpSHK is a Consortium of Supporting Systems for Community Forest, a network organization founded in 1997. The organization focuses on providing technical support in the context of developing community forest management models and empowering the people's economy based on natural resources. KpSHK has been supporting forest management methods developed by indigenous peoples and local communities in and around forests for generations.

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