This now completed project supported the indigenous Ansus community to set an example of how reforestation and community empowerment can go hand in hand.
Eden Reforestation Projects
Ansus Region, Yapen Island, West Papua
This project, which was completed in 2022, was located in the village of Ansus, on the south coast of Yapen - a remote island of West Papua and part of South East Asia's so-called “coral triangle”.
This triangular-shaped area of tropical marine waters is famous for the Raja Ampat Islands, which contain the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Yapen is only accessible by ferry or plane from other regional islands or is an 8-hour journey by motorised canoe from Serui, the capital of Yapen. This project helped support the indigenous people of Ansus in replanting its mangrove forest, providing income, protecting biodiversity and supporting carbon sequestration.
Hectares of forest
Supporting the indigenous Ansus community to replant its mangrove forests.
About 3,000 indigenous people live in Ansus. The community has a strong identity and culture, speaking the Ansus language, passed down through generations. They have also suffered a long history of discrimination in the area.
Community members live in stilt houses without electricity or running water. They primarily make their living as farmers, fishermen, hunters and gatherers. Women, in particular, feed the family from resources from the mangroves, such as the crabs and shellfish they collect.
In addition to providing livelihoods and income by hiring 25 full-time planters from the area, the project also empowered women by employing a 60% female-to-male planters ratio (65.38% female in 2021). The project also supported increasing women's leadership in an area where women are mainly involved in domestic matters and excluded from decision-making outside the home.
IMPACT ON NATURE.
Mangroves in West Papua are highly productive ecosystems that play a crucial role in nutrient dynamics and carbon capture in the coastal areas of this region. If the mangrove forests disappear, the region will be more vulnerable to typhoons and tsunamis, thousands of endemic bird species will be without habitat, sea life will all but disappear, and local villages will be unable to fish and feed themselves.
While mangroves are protected by Indonesian law, this is extremely hard to police and apply when mangroves are the main sources of subsistence survival for the local communities. The mangroves also face continual pressure from deforestation for oil, gas, wood, charcoal and palm oil, especially in the remote area of Yapen, where increasing corporate interest and pressure for land and natural resources threaten the mangroves. This project reforested illegally cleared areas while protecting the old-growth mangrove forest.
Because of support like yours, TreeSisters funded the planting of over 1,500,000 trees in the region over a four-year period. While planting partner Eden Reforestation Projects continues to work in this area, TreeSisters successfully completed its arm of the project in late 2022, supporting the local community and helping to restore decimated mangrove forests.
By combining this approach of restoration and community collaboration, healthy mangrove forests continue to provide abundant life and fisheries resources for those that live on or near the planting site and for the many species that rely on the mangroves to survive. The Ansus community also built a different and ongoing relationship with the mangroves, improving their livelihoods and supporting a greener, more sustainable future for us all. Thank you for your support of this project.