Purchase and Protection
With the help of local partners, OFI has been protecting areas of forest by actually buying the land on which the forest sits. 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.
The program was initiated as a response to palm oil companies buying forest from local people in order to convert the forest into palm oil plantations. The result would have been total annihilation of relatively small forests where wildlife and orangutans now find refuge.
The cost of the program and the nature of land ownership laws make this a difficult program. Nonetheless, it is one of the most satisfying processes conducted by OFI because, once the forest is bought, it can be protected in perpetuity.
So far several hundred hectares of forest have been saved from total destruction by OFI’s forest purchase and protection program.