first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Merabu residents harvest a variety of non-timber forest products.“The forest is our storehouse,” one resident explains. “We have a village forest and a backup forest.”One observer says the village could dispose of its plastic better. MERABU, Indonesia — The district of Berau on Borneo island is one of the world’s largest sources of coal for power generation (it gained notoriety in 2010 in the Bakrie-Rothschild coal deal). Berau is also a national leader in Indonesia’s palm oil and pulp and paper sectors.Less famous are its manta rays, its stingless jellyfish, its karst forests and orangutans. Five hours inland from the provincial airport sits the dazzling ecovillage of Merabu. Perched on the edge of a quarter-mile-wide, 50-meter-deep turquoise lake, Merabu is home to 200 Dayak Lebo people. The quarter-acre Lake Nyadeng drains the waters of the surrounding karst mountains. Village officials and members of the Kerima Puri community development group hope Nyadeng’s waters might be a source of income for the local economy, if they can bottle and sell it. “The water discharge rate is very high,” Kerima Puri head Asrani, who like many Indonesians goes by one name said delightedly.Water isn’t the first non-timber forest product Merabu residents have succeeded in selling either. They already sell ecotourism packages and wild forest honey. “Our ancestors taught us how to prepare honey so it doesn’t spoil,” explains  Mayjayanti, a Merabu-based schoolteacher and one of the leaders of Kerima Puri. “You have to be careful not to touch it directly with your hands. Instead you slice the honeycomb. Then you let it drain instead of pressing it.”“The forest is our storehouse,” Asrani explained.  A storehouse filled with the needs of the people: house-building materials, rattan, fruit, medicinal plants and materials for community rituals. “ We have a village forest and a backup forest.”A sign welcomes visitors to Merabu. Photo by stefanus.aryawan via Flickr.According to Asrani, Merabu is the first village in Berau to get a village forest legally recognized and identified on maps by the national government. This happened in 2014. The forest spans 8,245 hectares. Merabu sits in Kelay District of Berau Regency. It has an area of 22,000 hectares. Honey harvest happens when the forest flowers bloom. The village can gather up to 3000 liters of honey at a time. What’s gathered is sold immediately.Then in the honey offseason, Merabu is filled with visitors. It’s a village whose abbreviated slogan is ASYIK, which is Indonesian for fun. ASYIK stands for Aman, Sehat, Indah, Kreatif – Safe, Healthy, Beautiful and Creative. On a recent cool morning, tourists lined the village’s paths. Each had a fishing rod in hand. They are on the way to meet Marjayanti, or Mar as he is locally called, has prepared three boats to take the visiting fishermen to the mouth of the Lesan River. Whenever tourists come, Mar is busy. He doesn’t just supply them with boats. He has to deal with their accommodation too.Marwan from the Berau REDD working group thinks that Merabu is doing exemplar work building itself up as a “climate village” that protects its surrounding forest. But “they still need to control the amount of plastic they burn,” he said. “There are local efforts to make crafts with the plastic but what is not used is just burned.” Banner image: A Merabu resident carries a wild boar on his back. Photo by Yustinus S. Hardjanto for Mongabay.This story is part of Mongabay-Indonesia’s ongoing series on community forestry in the country. It was first published on our Indonesian site on Aug. 10, 2016.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Ecotourism, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Peoples, Lakes, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img