Monday 18 january 2021
IUCN NL partner organisation Sawit Watch has received a certificate of Merit from the Bupati (regent) of Bulungan for its active roles to support the sustainable development and protection of the environment in Bulungan.
Header photo: Sawit Watch staff receives certificate of merit for its contribution
The government of the Bulungan district acknowledges that the impact on human wellbeing from natural disasters exacerbates with the degradation of biodiverse ecosystems. They are aware that, to safeguard forests and biodiversity in the Kayan river basin, it requires studious spatial planning of the area to ensure a sustainable balance between nature, farmlands residential, business and leisure areas.
Since the start of the programme Shared Resources Joint Solutions in 2016, Sawit Watch has worked with the local government to facilitate the process towards sustainable land use planning. In November 2020, they were invited by the Bupati (regent) of Bulungan, a district in the province of North Kalimantan, to accept a certificate of merit for their active contribution.
Land use mapping
‘Sawit Watch deployed a drone to map land use in the Kayan river basin,’ Evelien van den Broek, Senior Expert Environmental Justice at IUCN NL, explains. ‘This allowed them to provide input for the monitoring of oil palm plantations and for establishing the boundaries of villages.’ Furthermore, Sawit Watch made an extensive study of the carrying capacity of the Bulungan ecosystems.
Sawit Watch also trained the government in the use of drones. The information provided by these aerial pictures allows the government to set up a more sustainable spatial planning in which sufficient natural areas are secured to deliver water regulating services and protect the people against extreme weather events.
Carrying capacity of the environment
The Bulungan government promulgated a regulation that spatial planning, environmental protection and the issuance of permits, policies, plans and programmes, should be based on the analysis of environmental carrying capacity.
Ensuring sustainable land use planning
In addition, Sawit Watch was closely involved in the Strategic Environmental Assessment process, that the local government was required to undertake to ensure that social and environmental aspects are taken sufficiently into account in their Spatial Planning and Mid Term Development Plan.
Unfortunately, Bupati H. Sudjati, SH passed away due to Covid-19. IUCN NL expresses its condolences for the loss of a visionary leader who understood the value of ecosystems and civil society.