Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project
The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project is an initiative and the flagship REDD+ project of InfiniteEARTH. InfiniteEARTH is therefore the project developer, and the project owner is PT Rimba Raya Conservation, which is the local operational entity of InfiniteEARTH.
The project originally aimed to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation by protecting around 91,000 hectares of tropical peatswamp forest in Central Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo; however the Ministry of Forestry subsequently ruled that PT Rimba Raya Conservation was only eligible for 64,000 hectares of land. The area, which is rich in biodiversity and a critical habitat of the endangered Bornean orang-utan, was allocated by the Provincial Government to be converted into four palm oil estates. In response, the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve project is designed to protect the area thus avoiding the loss of forest from conversion to palm oil plantations. The project is therefore classified as a project Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) through Avoided Planned Deforestation (APD).
Through this project, InfiniteEARTH delivered the world’s first double validated and verified REDD methodology and was the first REDD project validated under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and to be awarded Triple Gold validation under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard, in October 2011.
The CCB Project Design Document highlights that one of the project's main goals is to promote gender equality and empower women. For example, the project aims to ensure that an adequate number of women is hired for jobs on its activities and distributes micro-credits to women who are not hired to facilitate alternative project-related opportunities. Surveys carried out prior to commencement of the project delivered detailed analysis of the role of women in local communities in the project area. This also includes the identification of women’s groups, interviews with women leaders and the socio-economic position of women. Based on these analyses, several programmes were developed to address women’s issues. For instance, a breeding programme was developed to support semi-industrial smallholder estates with a focus on management and ownership by women.