Tuwung village in Central Kalimantan showcases a successful social forestry initiative through kelulut honey cultivation, fostering economic growth and environmental preservation.

In mid-January 2024, Suwandi Frans Sutoyo, aged 30, meticulously tended to a colony of stingless bees in Tuwung village, Pulang Pisau district, Central Kalimantan. He ensured the kelulut honey bee hive remained undisturbed by pests like ants and house lizards, underscoring the village’s commitment to sustainable beekeeping practices.

Located 40 kilometres outside of Palangkaraya, the capital of Central Kalimantan province, Tuwung village has undergone a remarkable transformation since experiencing devastating wildfires in 2015 and 2016. Today, the village serves as a testament to successful peatland preservation efforts, with thriving rambutan trees and a flourishing ecosystem.

The village’s success can be attributed in part to the establishment of the Kelulut Honey Cultivation Social Forestry Business Group (KUPS) in 2019, following a decree from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK). Through this initiative, villagers were granted management rights over 1,297 hectares of forest, enabling them to independently oversee sustainable forestry practices.

Tuwung Village LHPD, comprising three business units including Kelulut Honey KUPS, Fishery KUPS, and Farming KUPS, has been instrumental in driving economic growth and environmental stewardship in the region. With initial financing from government programs such as the National Economic Recovery (PEN) program, the KUPS has successfully managed 100 bee hive boxes, producing approximately 15 litres of kelulut honey monthly.

The economic impact of the kelulut honey cultivation scheme extends beyond the village, with the product gaining recognition both domestically and globally. Chief of the United States Forest Service, Randy Moore, lauded the initiative during a visit to Tuwung village, underscoring its potential as a model for sustainable forestry practices worldwide.

Source: Antara News