In south Nusa Penida, near the Julingan hamlet, FNPF has been allocated 100 hectares of highly degraded government classified reforestation land. Our goal is to create a forest here on this barren, dry, wind-swept land.
To achieve this, we need to establish an initial layer of trees first (pioneer trees). They will provide wind and shade cover to the subsequent layers of more diverse species of saplings that we plant, and will reduce the soil erosion from flash flood rainfall.
In November 2008, with the assistance of local communities and government employees (including army, navy, and police), we planted 14,000 mixed species pioneer saplings (high resistance to extreme conditions) on 30 hectares of the land. A last later we planted an additional 3,500 pioneer saplings on another 12 hectares. In 2010, an additional 1,200 saplings were planted. With funding, FNPF will continue to plant more saplings each year.
Water catchments were built to provide local water for the ongoing maintenance of the planted trees. One water catchment per hectare is desirable. But due to limited funds, seven water catchments have so far been built to support the 42 hectares. We hope to raise funds to install additional water catchments.
Integral to FNPF’s reforestation strategy is three years maintenance and protection of the saplings after they are planted. The saplings are maintained with regular water and mulch. Protection is from illegal cattle grazing and grass fires. After three years the trees will be large and strong enough to grow independently. It is this approach that ensures that FNPF achieves such a high tree survival rate compared to other reforestation programs.
The reforested area is monitored regularly, and the trees counted and their condition recorded every three months. To date, FNPF’s tree planting survival rate is 71%. FNPF’s tree survival rate was 84% until a recent grass fire – created by farmers on adjoining land burning off grassland – swept across the reforestation area.
Consequently, FNPF has been working with the village communities to build and maintain firebreaks around the reforestation area (3m wide strip cleared of grass), and to deliver conservation education of the benefits of alternative methods to grass burning.
Outside this allocated 100 hectares of government reforestation land, FNPF is enabling island wide reforestation by distributing saplings from the nursery to the village communities free of charge.
The saplings are given to the communities for their own direct benefit – agro-forestry from timber and non timber products (fruit, honey, tree foliage coverage, etc) – making the communities stakeholders that are committed to the long term maintenance and growth of the saplings into healthy trees. To date, over 100,000 saplings have been freely distributed by FNPF and planted by the communities of Nusa Penida.
Records are kept of the saplings distributed to village communities (who received, how many, where planted, species of sapling, etc). But due to limited resources, FNPF has not been able to monitor the growth of every sapling donated to villagers in the same way that FNPF monitors the saplings planted by FNPF on the government reforestation land in south Nusa Penida.
However, random monitoring by FNPF during 2006 and 2007 indicated 80% survival rate. With additional resources FNPF would like to monitor and record the growth patterns of all saplings planted by the village communities. This would help identify the species that are growing most successfully, their time to growth, under what the conditions, etc.
This work has been possible thanks to our donors, including the International Christian Church Organization.