Through social, environmental and economic initiatives Green Initiative Foundation (GIF) empowers communities living in and around vulnerable forests and the general population to support environmental protection and adopt more sustainable lifestyles.
Indonesia’s forests are disappearing at a rate of 1.17 million hectares per year (Government of Indonesia and UNREDD, 2009). There is clearly a need for environmental protection in Indonesia, particularly regarding her forests. However, only focussing on the environmental aspect risks the long-term sustainability of environmental protection efforts. Communities living in and around Indonesia’s forests have the power to cause damage to these environments, but they also have the power to protect them. We need to engage these communities, to help educate them about the importance of environmental protection, and to empower them to take a vital role in the fight for Indonesia’s forests. This requires economic empowerment; supporting communities to find alternative livelihoods that enable environmental protection, and also social empowerment; supporting the community to identify the value they put on their environment and the part they play in protecting it.
Since 2009 we have:
- Reforested 38 hectares of forest in the Sarongge area of Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, through our community-based reforestation program, in collaboration with Green Radio. This embodies our aim of creating a win-win situation where local communities receive an economic benefit from environmental protection.
- Supported 12 different programs aimed at economic empowerment in Sarongge, from organic farming through to handicrafts, including both men and women. Each program involves investment and training, to build the knowledge and capacity of individuals and the wider community.
- Launched the first regular environmental awareness event in Jakarta. This monthly event aims to engage the capital’s community in a range of environmental issues that are important throughout the archipelago. We see this as a social investment for the future: By creating an active, engaged and environmentally aware community, we are contributing to the future sustainability of Indonesia’s forests and other natural resources.