This is the third project in Seacology’s seven-village Borneo watershed protection project. (The first two are Mangkadait and Langkabong.) This program conserves spectacular rainforest by bringing clean water to remote villages. In total, it will protect more than 5,000 acres.
The island of Borneo is famous for its biodiversity. There are at least 15,000 kinds of plants; 10 primate species; and hundreds of other mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish species. Scientists are discovering more all the time. But Borneo’s vibrant ecosystems are under tremendous threat, as forest is cleared for logging or oil palm plantations.
This project will protect more than 800 acres of forest near Tampasak. The village lies in a critical migratory corridor for the endangered Borneo elephant. Habitat loss is pushing the animals closer to human settlements, making them vulnerable to poaching and conflict with people. (A gathering of 14 elephants delayed one of Seacology’s meetings in the village.)
Tampasak is a village of 700. The villagers speak the Sungai language and follow tradition in music, dance, clothing, and farming. Women lead the community. Most people are subsistence farmers who grow hill rice and gather vegetables from the forest. Many young people have moved to towns to find work, but they maintain strong ties with the village and often return after they marry.
The water supply system will greatly improve health and quality of life in Tampasak. It will especially benefit women and children, who fetch water from the Pinangah Rive. The river is half a kilometer away and polluted by upstream oil palm plantations. By providing such an important benefit, this grant will help the people of Tampasak resist pressure to sell their rights to the forest.