OFI, with the help of local partners, has been actively protecting areas of forest by directly purchasing the land on which the forest sits. Forested land that would otherwise be turned into palm oil plantations is now being conserved.
Since individuals in Kalimantan usually have full rights to small pieces of land (typically only a few hectares), the purchase of forest is an arduous process that is only made possible by OFI’s local knowledge and deep integration into the community.
Our program was initiated as a response to palm oil companies buying forest from local people in order to convert the forest into plantations. The result would have been total annihilation of forests near towns and villages, forests where wildlife and orangutans now find refuge. Without these forests, wildlife would simply have no place to go.
The cost of this program and the nature of land ownership laws make protecting forest by purchase a difficult task. Nonetheless, it is one of the most satisfying programs conducted by OFI because, once forested land is bought, forests can be protected in perpetuity.
Below are some of the current and previous successful projects OFI has initiated: