Catalysing action for Indonesia’s threatened trees

Indonesia is home to more than 100 Critically Endangered tree species, yet few of these are subject to legal protection or conservation action. The GTC is working to turn this situation around by supporting national partners to develop and implement an action plan for the country’s most threatened species.

Indonesia is home to many remarkable trees. Towering dipterocarps reach heights of over 70m, mighty ironwoods produce one of the world’s hardest timbers and durians are notorious for producing a pungent fruit which you may love or hate depending on your taste.

A dipterocarp tree. Credit Arief Hamidi

A dipterocarp tree. Credit: Arief Hamidi/FFI.

These versatile and valuable trees are under threat from logging and loss of their forest home to palm oil plantations and forest fires. At least 100 species are known to be Critically Endangered.

Although many species need urgent conservation measures, there are currently no national level plans to support their protection or restoration. The GTC is working on two fronts to turn this situation around.

On a national level, we are supporting the government of Indonesia to develop and then implement a conservation action plan for 12 of the country’s highest priority tree species. This work is guided by the ‘Indonesia Forum for Threatened Trees’, a network of leading tree conservation experts from various government departments, NGOs, botanic gardens and research institutes.

Members of the Indonesia Forum for Threatened Trees

Members of the Indonesia Forum for Threatened Trees

On the ground we are also supporting local nature reserves and community groups to take action; helping them to better protect trees from logging and to support their regeneration in the wild through habitat management and targeted tree planting.

Threatened tree nursery in West Kalimantan. Credit: Setia Budiawan

Threatened tree nursery in West Kalimantan. Credit: Jaswadi/Head of Kebun Bibit Rakyat, Desa Pelang Kalbar 

Did you know?

Dayak people believe the Bornean ironwood protects them from dangerous animals, offering their own explanation for the lack of elephants and tigers on Borneo.