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Indonesia

On the Indonesian island Sulawesi we are going to plant 160,000 trees in order to convert monotonous grassland into tropical rain forest. In this we co-operate with our partner, the Masarang Foundation, to restore a unique ecosystem in Indonesia from which the local population also benefits.

Status: Current project

Turning grassland into tropical rain forest on the Indonesian island Sulawesi

From forests and hills down to lakes and coral reefs, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has a unique ecosystem. The rain forest is habitat to dozens of animal species that occur nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, some 80% of their habitat has been deforested at a great pace.

What remains are grasslands where only persistent grass grows. This makes it impossible for trees to grow, endangering the habitat of all animals. We are going to make a difference here!

This project amounts to the planting of 160,000 trees in order to restore tropical rain forest in Northern Sulawesi. We will do this in co-operation with the Masarang Foundation. The project will also provide work and income for surrounding communities. Care to participate?

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trees being planted

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people who have work & income

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people in total benefiting from the project

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tree species are planted

What makes this project necessary in Sulawesi?

Sulawesi is one of Indonesia’s larger islands and is home to many unique plants and animals. No less than 62% of mammals living here are endemic species, meaning that they occur in only one place in the world, like the spectral tarsier and the crested macaque.

But because of logging and converting forest to agriculture and plantation, many of these endemic species are on the brink of extinction. In places where magnificent rain forest used to grow, now only grass land remains, harboring nothing but alang-alang.

Alang-alang, also known as cogon grass, forms a close-woven carpet and leaves no room for trees to germinate and grow. In turn this grass land is highly combustible, making it a vicious circle of degradation.

So, in order to restore Sulawesi’s unique ecosystem, it is highly necessary to protect existing forests and regenerate degraded areas. Will you help us, please?

Plant a tree in Sulawesi

What are we going to do in Sulawesi

In Temboan project area we are going to convert 50 hectares of alang-alang grassland into tropical rain forest. We will realize this by planting 160,000 trees of many different species for a varied forest. The Masarang Foundation has developed a successful method of planting. Within a time-span of three years (2023-2025) we will plant trees in two phases.

First, 10 to 15 pioneer type trees will be planted to push back the rank grass. Next, we will plant 150 different native species of trees in order to restore the original forest. Some of these are included in the Red List of Endangered Species (UCN). We will also include trees which will render extra income for the local population, such as fruit trees.

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In Temboan, our project area, only alang-alang grass grows. It shows green, but this persistent grass prevents natural forest regeneration and adds hardly anything to biodiversity in Sulawesi.

Broad impact: from land to see

Sulawesi forest restoration will create a positive impact on the whole ecosystem. Our project contributes to:

  • Absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Increasing and protecting the habitat of local and endemic fauna and flora. Biodiversity is reinforced.
  • Improvement of water management. Trees retain more water underground. Thus the drainage of (polluted) water is reduced and the coastal coral reef is enabled to regenerate.
  • Prevention of bush fires by reduction of combustible grass and active supervision by patrol teams.
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Protecting the restored forest

The Masarang Foundation will take care of adequate protection of the forest after planting. Two forest rangers will be employed to monitor the forest, e.g. from an observation tower. Besides, the project area will be watched by means of a camera system, satellite images and drones.

This project of Trees for All contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals

13. Climate action
14. Life below water
15. Life on land
17. Partnership for the goals
8. Decent work and economic growth

Our partners

The Masarang Foundation was established in 2001 by Willie Smits, an Indonesian biologist, forester and conservationist of Dutch descent. He has worked in Indonesia for 30 years and was the founder of various shelters and rehabilitation centers for orangutan, among others. He has also conducted various reafforestation and nature conservation projects in Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

Apart from this, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Institut Teknologi Minaesa (ITM) University and the local church are involved in the project.

Where are we going to plant?

The trees are going to be planted in 50 hectares of the Temboan project area belonging to the Masarang Foundation. This area is situated directly on the Sulawesi coast, where five species of turtle breed and a coral reef can be found.