After decades of an unsustainable dependency on the nearby forests, some communities surrounding the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve have suffered considerably as a result of forest degradation Many of the communities have experienced a steep decline in their standard of living as these forests can no longer sustain them. Fish harvests have plummeted; high value timber species and other forest products derivatives have been exhausted.
As part of our integrated approach to conservation and community development, we have undertaken a reforestation effort that combines planting native cash crops such as “Jelutung” (jungle rubber), fruit trees and Bembor – a tree with bark that yields a valuable essential oil — with natural forest restoration.
This unique model ensures biodiverse regeneration of previously degraded areas of forest. It also addresses the food security concerns of the local communities and provides a higher density of natural food sources for the beloved population of endangered wild and repatriated orangutans that call Rimba Raya home.