Buying Living Tree System
Centre for International Cooperation in Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP) in Palangka Raya (Central Kalimantan) is applying a new approach for degraded peat reforestation called ‘Buying Living Tree System’ (BLTS).

Objectives of the BLTS project are; ( i. ) to give full responsibility for local people on the environment’s management in order to create ownership and rights on management of the environment and natural resources, (ii.) to establish sustainable income through environment management by planting native tree species in damaged peatland in the project, (iii.) to find alternatives for the Government strategy on the best way to revive degraded peat functions and services, (iv.) to increase community spontaneous fire management on the area, and (v.) to explore possibilities for carbon trading through reforestation of degraded peatlands.

The BLTS approach includes involvement of local community for improving the environment through seedlings aftercare and maintenance, and thus has a longer scope in operation, instead of just planting predetermined number of seedlings. The BTL-system will be give the following benefits: (1) the involved farmers will get guaranteed income during the project as they receive monthly compensation for the committed time and work in accordance to the number of trees alive, (2) awareness of community for their environment increases because the project strategy also educates involved community on sustainable land management, and (3) the environment will be better protected as the involved community receives receiving direct economic benefit for taking care of their environment.

Intended outcomes from the project are; (i.) increased viability and survival of seedlings in reforested area (ii.) forest around the project area is secured from fire hazard by local farmers, (iii.) increased awareness, welfare and ownership of the environmental resources in local community. The project involves committed local farmers living in the area. They will receive native tree species seedlings and guidance for planting and caring the plants. During the project farmers receive monthly compensation in accordance of their work success and frequent consultation and guidance on environmental care including fire prevention.

The project area is located south from Palangka Raya city and north of Pulang Pisau city in area called Kalampangan zone in Ex-Mega Rice project area. The area is owned by country (called “tanah negara” or country land). Generally, if local people have planted and manage trees in such area, they become land owners through the cultural system called “hak ulayat”. In BLTS strategy, the government is appealed to nominate this area as farmer owned and managed land at least for 30 to 35 years. The area will be reserved to tree growing for the project life time, and after project closure the area will be managed by the farmers with help and guidance from CIMTROP.

The project is coordinated by CIMTROP and funded by Siemenpuu Foundation from Finland.
The project is implemented from 2008 to 2010.
Harri Vasander and Jyrki Jauhiainen from University of Helsinki are BLTS project advisors.

Further information of the project will be provided by Siemenpuu Foundation