Ketapang District

Sustainable Community-based Forest Stewardship and Livelihood Improvement


Ketapang, West Kalimantan

Project Operator

Tropenbos Indonesia

Total Area

14,406 ha

Certification in Progress
Three out of the four villages with the Tropenbos Ketapang Project are rich in biodiversity, with peat forest ecosystems more than three metres deep. But the forests are under threat and require funding and resources to protect their ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.

Project background

Tropenbos Ketapang Project is part of Pawan Pesaguan Landscapes which consists of complex forest ecosystems including peatland and peat swamp. The area is rich in biodiversity, but it is at high risk due to deforestation and forest degradation activities that threaten the forest ecosystems.

Dipterocarpaceae Tropical Forest in Pangkalan Telok Village Forest
Dipterocarpaceae Tropical Forest in Pangkalan Telok Village Forest © Tropenbos Indonesia

The Rimba Collective is working with Tropenbos Indonesia through a community-based forest management approach to preserve the remaining forest areas and restore the degraded areas. The project aims to build good management of village forests and their surroundings to maintain and improve forest ecological functions and the community's wellbeing.

Location & total area

Tropenbos Ketapang Project site consists of four village forests: Wana Gambut Village Forest in Sungai Pelang, Rawa Gambut Village Forest in Sungai Besar, Pematang Gadung Village Forest in Pematang Gadung, and Pangkalan Telok Village Forest. The forest area of 14,406 hectares is located in Ketapang Regency, West Kalimantan province, Indonesia.

All villages are accessible by car and from Ketapang District. The journey takes around 30–45 minutes to Sungai Pelang, Sungai Besar, and Pematang Gadung Village, but up to four hours to reach Pangkalan Telok Village. To get into the wilderness of the Village Forests, from its villages, the trip may take around an hour by motorbike during dry season and about two and a half hours during wet season. Pematang Gadung Village Forest is only accessible by speed boat.

A trip to Pematang Gadung Village Forest with a speed boat
A trip to Pematang Gadung Village Forest with a speed boat © Tropenbos Indonesia

What is special about this project

Three out of the four village forests are the few remaining peat forest ecosystems with a depth of more than three meters. The village forest ecosystems are separated from the other ecosystems, surrounded by various land uses.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), peatlands in their natural wet state provide indispensable ecological functions, including regulating water flows, minimizing the risk of flooding and drought, and preserving air quality. Peatlands are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store, and restoring peatland can reduce emissions significantly to combat climate change and achieve other Sustainable Development Goals.

Peat Swamp Forest in Pematang Gadung Village Forest
Peat Swamp Forest in Pematang Gadung Village Forest © Tropenbos Indonesia

These village forest areas are the natural habitats for various endangered species such as orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), pangolins (Pholidota), bears (Helarctos malayanus), proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus), and others. However, the village forest areas are facing threats including forest encroachment, illegal logging, illegal mining activities, land clearing for agriculture using slash-and-burn methods, and expansion of timber and oil palm plantations.

The Rimba Collective provides a means for LPHD (Village Forest Management Institution) to have access to alternative sources of finance for capacity building, salaries, equipment, and the development of livelihood activities needed for effective forest management which will ensure forest and peatland in the Village Forest areas are protected and restored.

How we add value to this project

The Rimba Collective, together with Tropenbos Indonesia, aims to protect and conserve the village forest areas from deforestation and forest degradation threats by helping the community to:

  • Strengthen the institutional capacity and resources of LPHDs to carry out village forest management in a sustainable and effective manner
  • Protect village forest areas from the threat of deforestation, forest degradation, and peatland degradation due to land clearing, forest fires, illegal mining, wildlife hunting, and various other forest destruction activities
  • Restore and improve the ecosystem quality of degraded village forest areas through rehabilitation, forest restoration and peatland restoration activities
  • Improve community livelihoods through the development of various sources of community livelihoods in a sustainable manner
  • Increase awareness among students, communities, village government, and other stakeholders in sustainable village forest management.


The project will implement a variety of activities to address the root causes of deforestation threats while improving community livelihoods and advancing the governance and management of village forests:

  • Establish LPHDs and facilitate their institutional capacity building through training on integrated village forest management
  • Forest patrol and monitoring of the village forests, environmental conditions, forest and land fires, and detection of potential threats to village forests
  • Rehabilitation of the degraded areas within and outside the village forests using reforestation and agroforestry approaches, water management for peatland, and a assisted natural regeneration program
  • Develop a wildlife conservation plan as part of biodiversity enhancement
  • Support the establishment of Social Forestry Business Group (KUPS) and improve the capacity of the existing KUPS, assisting on marketing, promotion and value chain integration
  • Provide assistance on food security and community resilience capacity development
  • Raise community awareness through events and educational support
Post/Command Center of Sungai Besar Village Forest
Post/Command Center of Sungai Besar Village Forest © Tropenbos Indonesia


  • Tropenbos Indonesia (TI)

    Tropenbos Indonesia (TI) is an independent non-profit organization, a part of the Tropenbos International (TBI) Network with a secretariat in The Netherlands. TI has been active for more than 30 years, and started working in West Kalimantan at the end of 2016. The organization shares the Rimba Collective’s commitment to protect forest areas while also respecting the rights, livelihoods, and aspirations of local communities.

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