Regions where we work in Indonesia

We are currently active in the following regions:


TBI in Indonesia works towards the improvement and implementation of landscape level conservation planning and the natural resource governance of forested lands allocated to villages and communities in Indonesia, with a current focus on the Ketapang and Kayong Utara districts in West Kalimantan Province.

The Ketapang and Kayong Utara districts have experienced rapid expansion of oil palm plantations and other land-based investments at the expense of forests and peatlands. Oil palm expansion has led to conversion, degradation and fragmentation of forests, with severe consequences for biodiversity, including the endangered Borneo orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). The governance of natural resources in both districts is still challenging, and existing policies, regulations and multi-stakeholder processes have not functioned effectively. The participation of local communities in land-use decision making processes is limited. Unclear land tenure contributes to poor landscape governance, many communities experience tenure insecurity, and conflicts over tenure are common.

In many parts of Indonesia, including in Kayong Utara and Ketapang districts, the establishment of large-scale oil palm plantations, followed by the uncontrolled expansion of smallholders, continues to occur at the expense of forest and peat areas. Through our work in partnership with various landscape actors, we aim to contribute to a climate smart landscape, while also providing a model of climate-smart landscape development that can be applied in other areas of Indonesia.

 What we do:

  • Establish essential ecosystem areas (KEE) to integrate oil palm plantations in the landscape while effectively protecting and connecting High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas.
  • Develop income-earning models that link peatland conservation and restoration with sustainable development.
  • Develop a model for independent oil palm smallholders to improve natural resource governance, based on sound village-level planning, with special attention to the role of women and youth.
  • Support the development of alternative livelihoods in forest-margin communities in the form of sustainable NTFP extraction and forest-ecosystem-service-based entrepreneurship.
  • Together with village and district governments in Ketapang and Kayong Utara districts upscale participatory and (gender-) inclusive natural resource and land-use planning.
  • Facilitate the development of community-forest schemes and improve the capacities of local stakeholders to develop and implement community forest management plans.
  • Build capacity among smallholders and communities to develop their climate-smart ideas into business propositions, and to encourage finance providers (local banks, credit unions but also external investors) to invest in such activities.
  • Contribute to a large scale shared vision of conservation and development priorities in Gunung Tarak Landscape based on the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach.
  • Support Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and communities to coordinate their strategies, and influence government and oil palm companies to establish, conserve and manage high value areas.
  • Strengthen the knowledge and capacities of CSOs, CBOs and government actors on the HCV concept through training, facilitation and technical assistance.
  • Provide technical training and facilitation in alternative livelihoods, spatial planning and other skills to community members.
  • Support local CSOs and community-based organisations to increase their lobbying and advocacy skills.

With whom

Tropenbos International works in Indonesia through its local network partner Tropenbos Indonesia. Visit their website for more information:


Tropenbos International has been operating in Indonesia since 1987 with a field site in East Kalimantan and from 2007 it has expanded its operation nationwide. In 2017, Tropenbos Indonesia became a legal national entity of Indonesia and a member of the Tropenbos International network.

In the past years the main focus of TBI's work in Indonesia has been the promotion of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach. TBI has provided policy-relevant and evidence-based information and build the capacities of policy makers and corporate actors on the application of HCV approach for the sustainable management of plantation forests and oil palm plantations in Indonesia. TBI facilitated the establishment of the HCV Network Indonesia and supported HCV Resource Network in the development of HCV guidance at landscape and jurisdictional scale.

TBI has contributed to the preparation of a large-scale government programme for Social Forestry and provides assistance to Village Governments to apply for the Social Forestry permits. At community level, TBI has worked on forestry management by developing alternative livelihoods to reduce communities' dependency on forests.