In the summer of 2019, the Orangutan Conservancy awarded a grant to the Borneo Nature Foundation to repair parts of the critical research infrastructure in Sabangau National Forest.
Unfortunately, a boardwalk in the southwest area of BNF’s campus was beyond repair. The proposal by BNF detailed a plan to build a newer, stronger boardwalk that would allow staff and visitors to safely traverse the peat-swamp area.
A peat-swamp forest occurs when constant flooding and soil saturation prevent organic material from decomposing completely. These giant sponge-like entities retain water, sometimes up to 13 times their own weight. These types of forests can take thousands of years to form.
Traversing this type of forest can be extremely difficult without the proper type of infrastructure. It becomes especially laborious when flooding occurs during the wet seasons. To ensure the safety of their research teams BNF has built three different boardwalks since 2009 totaling 2.8 km in length.
We are so excited to relay the news that the boardwalk project has officially been completed despite many difficult and unforeseen delays. The new boardwalk will stand to serve the transportation needs of important personnel such as students, field teams, community patrols, volunteers, and even wildlife!
“The new boardwalk will greatly assist all personnel and visitors in the Sebangau peat swamp. Strong, fully-functional, and safe infrastructure is essential for conservation organizations to reach their full potential. Thus, the network of boardwalks will ensure the ongoing success of orangutan research and conservation efforts in the Sebangau Forest.”
The project was officially started back in April of this year and it took a full two weeks from start to finish. In accordance with their mission, all materials used were sourced from sustainable operations.
The boardwalk construction was a coordinated effort by the Borneo Nature Foundation, the Centre for International Co-Operation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMPTROP) at the University of Palangka Raya.