Strengthening new bussineses to increase economic value of traditional rainforest products in a Sungai Utik village.
Help the Sungai Utik community to develop unique rain-forest food products for urban markets, and save 9600 Ha of traditional rainforest.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
The Sungai Utik Community is very special because it has managed to keep its 9600 ha's of traditional rainforests intact to this day, unlike many other villages in West Kalimantan that have succumbed to the expansion of palm oil plantations.
Sekar Kawung Foundation has been working with this community to help build economic prosperity from their forest resources, by strengthening their culture and developing various income streams based on forest conservation. In 2015 - 2016 we assisted them to develop and market various community based eco-culture-tours in their forests. This work provided foundations for the village cooperative to add a bedroom to all the homes in the Sungai Utik Longhouse.
During this period, we have also surveyed the fruit, nut, and palm sugar potential in the traditional forest belonging to the community, and trialled the production and marketing of various drinks from a wild forest mangos. In 2016 and 2017 Sekar Kawung (used to be GreenIndonesia) processed 500 Kg's of mango into cordials, bottled drinks and jams. All successfully accepted by the market. However the potential of wild mangos alone is between 200 - 400 tonnes per year.
The potential is of large - but all these products are seasonal (between October and January) - So the community needs to be able to process the fruits into various jelly's, jams, wines, vinegars, dried fruits, pickles, etc. For this they will need to build a small industrial size processing facility, that uses renewable energy, including bottling facility, bakery, etc.
We will help the community to develop the entire value chain of forest fruits, nuts and palm sugar sap products. From harvesting, post harvest processing, product development and marketing.
Through the project we aim to develop a model of creating multiple income streams from a forest that is full of different semi-wild biodiversity, instead of the usual approach of developing a monoculture market oriented crop.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Our direct beneficiaries will be the whole community of Sungai Utik, some 93 households consisting of more that 320 people. They live in a traditional long house surrounded by their forests.
However the model will benefit many other forest based communities that are managing agro-forests in Indonesia.
Finally it will benefit consumers in West Kalimantan, and in the capital city Jakarta, with unique semi-wild forest fruit products that have never been on the market before.
Globally this project will enrich the body of evidence and examples of how indigenous communities continue to manage their forest resources in a sustainable way - and are able to become empowered players in the market as well.
The Sungai Utik community has a seasonal potential of between 200 - 400 tonnes of wild mango they name 'mawang' - Sekar Kawung worked with them to develop products and trial in conscious lifestyle community of Jakarta (Indonesia's Capital) and Yogyakarta, both major cities in Java Island.
All generations make beautiful fern jewelry. Making these bangles is also an activity that tourists can take while trekking in the rainforest.
The young generation still practice dancing in the Longhouse Hall and perform, especially during events to celebrate forest harvests.
The community of Sungai Utik live in a traditional longhouse, they practice community land tenure rights, and manage the rainforest following a traditional agro-forest system that has lived for hundreds of years. Their culture is a rich expression of their close relationship with the forest.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
We primarily see biodiversity and culture as the main assets to help communities build economic prosperity.
We help them dig deep into their traditional roots, and figure out how their culture, can contribute to solving todays environmental, social and economic problems. We work with the community to figure out what they can give the world...what value can they add?
We strive to bring the community access of state of the art information technology, industrial and manufacturing technology, and business management systems.
Out approach is not only rooted (as it works with what is thriving in the community), it is also holistic - in the sense that we work to develop multiple income streams for the market. We name this an "abundant economic" approach.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
Sekar Kawung is a platform to support traditional artisans to develop products and sell their work directly to the consumer, this way they receive a fair price and can continue to keep their cultural heritage alive, thus through provenance, we nurture their #LivingCulture and nurture their biodiversity wealth.
Our URL: www.sekarkawung.com
Our Founders Linkedin:https://www.linkedin.com/in/chandra-kirana-prijosusilo-b5507858/
He we are together with the community we work with in East Sumba Island. Pictured in their brand new weaving workshop. We are all wearing sarong's (skirts) personally handmade by these artisans themselves. All fully naturally dyed. We have created an online shop to help sell their pieces: www.sekarkawung.com
At the same time as we began working with the Sungai Utik rainforest community, Sekar Kawung also began working with a community in the Sumba Island -this is dry savanna lands in the Eastern part of Indonesia. We wanted to have various models to show that culture and biodiversity can build prosperity. We received a sizable grant to work here in the latter half of 2016 and 2017. This film is about this community of traditional textile artisans.
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
Yes, we are a registered company.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
We first visited this village in 2014 - when preparing a movie (https://youtu.be/_eyL1txmdbU
) about their culture and their rainforest. At the time we were still an informal group named GreenIndonesia, working with INFIS (the Indonesian Nature Film Society) to produce a movie to promote eco-tourism. We were struck deeply by the richness of the biodiversity and the culture on the one hand, and the deep economic poverty on the other. We had to find a way to build economic prosperity with them.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
The community of Sungai Utik, is so exceptional because it has successfully managed to protect some 9600 hectares of community rainforest. In 2015 - The Indonesian Nature Film Society (INFIS) - who supported GreenIndonesia to make the movie https://youtu.be/_eyL1txmdbU - in 2013; produced the following movie which explains how the Sungai Utik community plays a very important role in providing hope that we can address climate change issues. The movie is tittled HOPE: Indigenous Climate Change Solutions in Indonesia. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUSm466Mcz0&feature=youtu.be.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We will work with the entire community. Finding them resources to help develope a facility to process forest fruits, nuts and palm sugar potential; to then help take these to the market in an empowered way, is a promise we have given them since early 2015.
The document attached above "Building Blocks for an Abundant Economy" describes our work with the community in 2015-2016. Primarily to develop various income streams with local culture and biodiversity assets.
In January of 2015, The Sungai Utik Village Head, Raymundus Remang participated in our exhibition to promote eco-culture tours to their village in Oslo, Norway. Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-indonesia/indonesian-indigenous-groups-look-to-tourists-to-protect-forests-idUSKBN0KI1QZ201501.
Throughout 2017 because of limited financial resources, we have only been able to assist the village to further develop proposals to find support to build a forest fruit processing facility, etc.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
The Sungai Utik community continues to practice strong stewardship of nature. Their culture deeply connected with the rainforest. Their entho-botanical knowledge is superb. This knowledge combined with the wonderfully intact forest, contains the potential for a large range of exotic rainforest food products. The community is very open to new technologies and markets. Furthermore all generations, the elders, the adults and youth are all in good partnership relations with Sekar Kawung Foundation.
The project is in West Kalimantan - the Indonesian side of the Borneo Island.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
6 months to revisit plans and further develop and refine implementation work-plans with the Sungai Utik community.
24 months, construction, and product development.
6 months marketing, monitoring, evaluation and improving practice.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)