Forest Protectection Program in Nantu

Forest has irreplaceable role in our planet serving as a home for invaluable species and acts as a carbon sink. Protecting existing forest is part of the solution to solve climate change and a very core part of Heroes2’s work. Since 2013 Heroes2 is supporting YANI’s foundation, an NGO dedicated to protect Nantu forest in Indonesia. Heroes2 will contribute part of our profit from our sale to YANI foundation.

Below are some facts on the Nantu forest regarding it’s location conservation value.(special thanks to the YANI foundation for the information)

The Nantu Rainforest is located in the heart of Wallacea in Gorontalo Province, northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Wallacea is the name given to the biogeographical transition zone between the Asian and Australasian fauna, and was discovered in 1869 by the British explorer Sir Alfred Russell Wallace.  It is renowned amongst conservationists as a global biodiversity hotspot and is characterized by high species endemism; 62% of Sulawesi’s mammals and 34% of its bird species are endemic (found nowhere else on the earth).

Location of Gorontalo, Indonesia

Location of Gorontalo, Indonesia

Location of Nantu Forest

Location of Nantu Forest in Gorontalo, Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the most megadiverse countries in the world yet its forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate, currently estimated at about 1.6 million hectares per year. It is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, in large part due to forest clearance, slash/burn and peatland degradation. Drivers include the pulp, paper, timber and agricultural industries.

The Nantu forest consists of the Nantu Wildlife Reserve (33,023 ha), Protection Forest (19,606 ha), and Production Forest (10,002 ha).  The Nantu Wildlife Reserve was gazette as a protected area by the Indonesian government in 1999 and is under the juristriction of the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. Stretching a total of over 500 square kilometres, the virgin Nantu rainforest is the last stronghold globally of the charismatic pig-deer, the babirusa (Babyrousa babirussa. fig1) which is in grave danger of extinction (its wild population totals approximately just 5,000), and is the habitat for Sulawesi’s other extraordinary, endangered wildlife, including the rare anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) an endemic forest buffalo, a locally endemic species of macaque (Macaca heckii) and the spectral tarsier (Tarsius spectrum). Many taxa are unsurveyed due to lack of resources and it is certain that the forest is a habitat for unrecorded species, providing a unique opportunity for scientific discovery.

fig 1 showing a Babyrousa babirussa, commonly known as a Pig Deer

The forest is also extremely important in terms of the environmental services it provides: a community of approximately 30,000 lives within the Nantu (Paguyaman) watershed and is completely dependent upon the Nantu and Paguyaman Rivers for water supply. As a virgin rainforest ecosystem, Nantu’s carbon content is invaluable, with over 13 million tonnes of biomass carbon stored. If the forest were cleared, up to 50 million tonnes of CO2 could be released to the atmosphere.

Accessible only by longboat, Nantu has been described as “one of the top five best sites for biodiversity in Southeast Asia” by visiting scientists. It also stores over thirteen million tonnes of biomass carbon based on the IPCC GPG Tier-1 approach [1]. If the entire Nantu Forest was cleared, nearly fifty million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be emitted to the atmosphere. As an example, this is equivalent to over half of the annual CO2 emissions from Hong Kong, a city of nearly seven million people.

[1] The Nantu Wildlife Reserve, Protection Forest, and Production Forest store 6,797,574 tonnes of carbon, 4,409,608 tonnes of carbon, and 2,116,114 tonnes of carbon respectively.