Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF) / Yayasan Pecinta Taman Nasional is an Indonesian non-profit organisation that follows a holistic “wildlife, habitat and community” conservation & community development approach. They are active in different locations in Bali and in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.
Their wildlife focus on endangered species includes a breeding program for the Bali Starling and Black Winged Starling, both listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and rehabilitation and release activities of injured or captive animals such as orangutans. The habitat restoration and monitoring work targets critical and sensitive areas, to ensure a suitable home for wildlife. The conservation work is also focused on improving the well-being of the local communities, by increasing their options for employment and income generation through education, agro-forestry, eco-tourism, mixed & organic farming, etc. This reduces their need to work in environmentally destructive sectors, such as illegal logging & mining, slash & burn farming or palm oil plantations. A close collaboration with the communities and authorities also helps to establish wildlife sanctuaries and legally recognised protected areas, some initiated by the villagers themselves.
As part of their ongoing habitat restoration project “Keep Borneo Wild”, FNPF conducts reforestation work with a mix of native species in Kalimantan at different locations. During 2018, a total of 465’620 saplings have been planted in circa 105ha. During 2017, 93’925 saplings were planted in circa 366 ha. Overall, between 2000 and mid-2018, a total of 860’195 saplings were planted and 562ha of area were covered. Wild seedlings are collected and grown in their own nurseries, to be used in the projects and by neighbouring villages. The current project locations are in Bali, the nearby Nusa Pelida island in the Lesser Sundas and in central Kalimantan. The latter includes areas in and around Tanjung Puting National Park, the largest national park in southeast Asia, and the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, an important orangutan area.
The planting work needs to be complemented by a control of highly competitive species, such as Imperata weeds on the dry areas and blade grass and ferns in the wetland peat swamps. These plants grow very aggressively in deforested areas and prevent natural regeneration processes from taking place. As such, the post-planting monitoring and maintenance work usually extends for 3 years, until the saplings are strong enough. on their own.
Since the traditional slash & burn farming is still used around the parks and even – illegally – within the park areas, there are severe fire risks. Part of FNPF’s regular work includes patrolling for fire detection and prevention, often in collaboration with local communities.