Save our environment through active participation of local people
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The projectOriginally this mountain ridge was covered with tropical rain forest, but since 1900 it has been cut and a barren and eroded land remained. In 2001, Masarang purchased the land (a total of around 500 hectares) and started a reforestation program in which, together with a number of other smaller areas, already more than 1 million trees have been planted.
After one another different plant and tree species were planted which enabled a diverse forest to grow, but also provided the locals with work and a yield from the forest. We started with the planting of the tree species Tjempaka and Wasian. After 20 years they deliver wood used for traditional house construction. Also fruit trees and sugar Palms were planted that deliver proceeds earlier. The forest is sustainably managed e.g. by selective cutting and planting different species over time allowing the forest to become richer over the years.
In the project also an Arboretum has been established, where seedlings of endangered species are bred and a number of tree species are planted in a special section as a learning area and to obtain the seeds.
The forest and the animals who have returned are actively protected by the local population in cooperation with Masarang. The forest on the Masarang mountain ridge (the word Masarang means "like the comb on the head of a chicken") is part of a major migration route of birds that fly from Asia to Australia.
Masarang also has purchased a number of water sources and has cleaned those. By planting many trees around the sources, especially figs, the sources remain open and the water stays clean. The population may use the water sources for free and the surplus flows in ponds and rice fields.
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- A river that had disappeared 50 years ago and that originates in the mountain range now flows continuously again
- Seven formerly dried up water sources around the Masarang mountain produce water again and are stable. In particular the sources of Uluna and Tataaren are of great importance for the drinking water supply of the local population.
- Floodings in the village of Matani which sometimes took place 3 times per year, are a thing of the past because the new forest has greatly improved the water regulating function of the soil.
- Soon the forest can supply the first wood obtained trough sustainable forestry and selective harvest
- By replanting this forest some 200 jobs are created, among others in the local house construction, sustainable forestry, sugar palm and fruit cultivation.
- Rainfall in the area is significantly increased and the local temperature significantly reduced
- Flora and fauna have come back to life, for example owls have made their appearance as well as the famous Celebes toad and plants that are named after the mountain such as Osmoxylon masarangense and Begonia masarangense.
- Lower farming lands are fed by springs and by the constant water supply about 500 hectares of rice paddies now produce one harvest extra per year which corresponds to a quarter of a million kilos of rice more.
- The new forest area is also a learning area for school students. The University of Manado keeps regular excursions and students do their research there.
- The mountain gives shelter to birds that use it as migratory route. In particular, twice a year, large quantities of birds of prey fly over.
- Approximately 1 million trees have been planted
- The reforestation absorbs approximately 5.000 tons of CO2 extra per year
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Call to action Climate change takes place, valuable animals and plants become extinct, clean drinking water is scarce. When we protect the rain forest, we can turn these disasters around. The preservation of the forest is the preservation of ourselves.
You can help: Support Masarang to reforest more areas according to its revolutionary process that leads to a higher yield for nature, wildlife and people.
Plans and needs
- Masarang wants to reforest more areas in Indonesia following the successful example of the Masarang mountain and purchase land for this purpose at critical locations that can protect water sources and provide employment for local people.
- We like to educate and inform local people about the crucial functions of the forest and to fight illegal logging
- We like to build an environmentally friendly enclosure to be able to release marsupials, macaques (Macaca nigra) and babirusa deer. The fence is necessary in order to protect animals against hunters and to avoid conflicts with the local population would they enter into the Woods.
- We like to build an information centre and cages for animals that will be released, as wells as a camping pitch for eco tourism and students.
- It is necessary that the forest police patrols more frequent to prevent illegal logging and poaching
- We are in the process of incorporating reforestation in the curriculum of ITM University and to offer other education for the local population.
Watch a video of a presentation in which Willie explains how his reforestation works.
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