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Sahang–Pangajid Forest


Conservation benefit: Conservation of 247 acres of lowland forest for 10 years

Community benefit: Nut oil processing machine, communications equipment, and construction of a small building

Date Approved: 02.2015


This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

The Pangajid Indigenous Forest covers 494 acres (200 hectares) on the island of Borneo, six hours from the Malaysian border. It is rich in tree species listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, including the endemic tengkawang tree and highly sought-after ironwood. Birds, deer, and monkeys flourish there.

The region’s indigenous inhabitants face outside pressure to develop the land with logging, mining, or plantation concessions. Seacology is funding a project that will help them instead make a sustainable living by harvesting and processing tengkawang nuts. The oil from these nuts is used for cooking, soap, and cosmetics. It is valuable because it is an alternative to palm oil. Selling the oil is much more profitable than selling raw nuts, and waste from the processing is food for chickens and pigs.

The traditional method of processing the nuts for their oil, however, is labor-intensive and time-consuming. In cooperation with Pontianak Urban Forest, Seacology is providing funds to buy an oil-processing machine and to build a cottage that will house it and provide community meeting space. In return, the community will patrol and protect a 247-acre (100-hectare) parcel of the Pangajid Indigenous Forest for 10 years.

Project Updates

September 2017

Seacology field representative Irman Meilandi met Pangajid Forest Leader Mr. Nadu and West Kalimantan facilitator Mr. Deman Huri at the National Forestry Department’s Forest Festival in Jakarta City. They had been invited by the national government to promote margarine and other products made from tengkawang nuts, using the processing machinery machine bought with the Seacology grant.

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April 2016

This project has been successfully completed. The simple new machinery yields a kilo of butter from two kilos of nuts—three times as much as could be produced using labor-intensive manual tools. And selling the butter, compared to selling raw nuts, is much more profitable. As a result, says field representative Irman Meilandi, the people are enthusiastic about preserving the forest and planting more tengkawang trees.
In a meeting room in the new building, local people learn about processing the tengkawang nut and maintaining the machines, and discuss the issues facing rural communities and forests. Outside the building is a nursery for tengkawang seedlings. The community has already planted more than 6,000 trees, and conducts regular patrols of the protected forest.

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January 2016

According to field representative Irman Meilandi, community members have constructed the building, installed the nut oil processing machine, and begun extracting oil from nuts gathered in the forest.

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August 2015

The building that will house the nut oil processing machine is almost finished, and the community members are now setting up the machine.

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May 2015

Plans have been made for the building, which will serve not only as a processing facility but also as a training center for people from nearby communities. Raw materials have been obtained not from the village forest area, but from the village’s production forest. The village has obtained wood, cement, nails, and other materials, and a group of 55 local people has prepared the site where the building will be constructed. Construction was slated to begin in May with traditional ritual and ceremonies in the Pangajid community tradition. Community members are also creating a nursery of tengkawang trees and have planted 600 seedlings.

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