Spanning 153,564 km2, Central Kalimantan is Indonesia’s third largest province. Central Kalimantan became Indonesia’s fifth full member of the GCF when it joined in 2010. With just 2.2 million inhabitants, population density is low. The province is sub-divided into 13 Districts with 1572 urban and rural villages. Overall 67% of the population live in rural areas, where villages tend to be distributed along the banks of the 11 large rivers which flow from the central mountains to the Java Sea. The largest ethnic group are the indigenous Dayaks, but there are significant numbers of official and economic migrants from Java, Bali and Sulawesi in both rural and urban settlements. Poverty remains a major issue particularly in rural areas because of the difficulty and cost of transportation and communication and the impact that this has on basic human services delivery. Education and health services in areas outside the provincial capital, Palangkaraya, are poor and this is reflected in the province’s Human Development Index (HDI).
Despite its low population density, Central Kalimantan has suffered serious and widespread environmental degradation. From 1996 to 1999 it was the site of the so-called “Mega Rice” project which cleared one million hectares of peat swamp forests and constructed 4000 km of canals to drain the peat. The lingering legacy of this project has been persistent peat drainage in the dry season, leading to high GHG emissionsfrom oxidation and compounded by annual dry season fires. Central Kalimantan has about 3 million hectares of peat soils, equaling those West, East and South Kalimantan combined. The extent of the impact of the clearing of swamp forests for agriculture and estate crops is demonstrated by official forest cover figures, which show only 865,000 ha of swamp forest remaining compared to 1.4 million ha of secondary forest and a further 1.1 million ha of degraded shrubland. Of the original area of peatlands, 80% is under threat from seasonal fire and/or oxidation. Restoration of the damaged peat ecosystems is a high priority for the provincial government and is also identified as a priority via Presidential Decree (2016).
Management of the province’s remaining forests is subject to on-going discussion and planning. Although 12.6 million ha remain within the national forest estate, a further 2.8 million ha are currently zoned in other land use categories, according to the provincial spatial plan. Proposed changes to the spatial zoning plan would greatly increase the proportion of these standing forests within the Protection Forest category, since their role in hydrologic regulation and reduced soil carbon emissions are regarded as critical. For over a decade, Central Kalimantan has been pursuing a low carbon development strategy in line with national policies. In 2010, Central Kalimantan was chosen to serve as a pilot Province for REDD+ development under an agreement between Norway and Indonesia to reduce deforestation. In 2005, the provincial government established a “green” policy framework which evolved in 2010 to a vision of Central Kalimantan as a “Green and Clean Province”. The province is also the site for the Australia-Indonesia Forest Carbon Partnership REDD+ Demonstration Project which aims to reduce emissions on 135,000 ha of degraded peatlands. It also hosts a number of other private investment REDD+ Projects and is a participant in the Heart of Borneo trans-boundary conservation project.
Additional information can be found on the GCF Impact Platform.