GIZ through its FORCLIME II project, conducted a workshop on “Sustainable Land Management: Workshop on Sustainable Land Management through the Approach of Forest and Land Fire Prevention with the Local Communities” from 9 to 11 July 2019. The FORCLIME project, stands for the Forests and Climate Change, is a support from the Federation Republic of Germany to the Republic Indonesia. FORCLIME helps to reduce the greenhouse gasses emission on the forestry sector while conserving the biodiversity through the regional Heart of Borneo. Two consultants from Eco-Consult who worked on the FORCLIME project, namely Anja Hoffmann and Udi Tiyastoto, were visiting CIFOR headquarters months before the workshop began. They discussed with the CIFOR’s PAR CBFPR team about the fire prevention efforts in CIFOR project. The workshop was a follow-up from the discussion.

In this workshop lessons learned from Riau’s PAR CBFPR was shared through a presentation titled “Lessons Learned from Riau: Community-Based Peatland Restoration and Fire Prevention”. This presentation highlighted CIFOR and partners’ work on the ground to understand various topics contributing towards the efforts to prevent fire and restore peatland. In haze free project, CIFOR worked on assessing the commodities that are ecologically suitable and financially feasible to be cultivated on healthy peatland. The commodities of study are: sweet corn, spinach, pineapple, banana, betel nut, oil palm, coconut, rubber, honey, fish, and edible nest swiftlet. At the end of the study, CIFOR then recommends pineapple and betel nut (land-based) and fish and honey (non land-based). Findings from this study were then being used as references in carrying out another project in Riau Province.

In PAR CBFPR project, CIFOR and partners conducted field testing at Dompas Village with potential scaling up and dissemination at five other satellite villages. Unlike other conventional research, the action research enabled social transformation in participative and systematic manner. It has the ability to focus on both development and research simultaneously. In the recent phase, monitoring phase, CIFOR and partners worked with local community to monitor the tree growth and water level using IT-based monitoring system. CIFOR and partners also facilitated the establishment of the forest farmer group (KTH) in Dompas Village. Finally, at the end of the presentation, CIFOR suggested to fill the gap of development and research through performing PAR. The community were needed to be encouraged for their participation throughout the process. Idea and decisions were being refined with feedback from the expert and researcher. This process was important to influence for behavioural changes and capacity increases. Intensive discussion and facilitation enabled the realization and initiation on cultivating alternative commodities that are peat-adapted, gradually restoring the peatland in a participatory manner, and strengthening the institution.