168 Hours at Senangan Kecil

The cold air in the Rain City (Bogor) begins a long journey to western Kalimantan. This morning (21/3/2022) is different from the other mornings because me (the writer) and Mas Ropan traveled far to Sintang, West Kalimantan, as representatives of Bhumi Pasa Hijau to provide capacity building for Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) in the FIP project -1. According to FAO, ANR is a simple, inexpensive, and effective technique for converting degraded vegetation areas into more productive forests. ANR can accelerate succession by reducing barriers to natural forest regeneration such as removing weeds and selecting natural seedlings to protect.

In short, we arrived in the capital of West Kalimantan, Pontianak. In Pontianak, we met the BPSKL team from Kalimantan who had the same goal of conducting ANR capacity-building activities. Then, the BPH-BPSKL Kalimantan group immediately continued their journey to Sintang using land transportation for approximately 7 hours of travel. Upon arrival in Sintang, the group stayed at Ladja Hotel, a hotel managed by the Keling Kumang Credit Union.

The next day, the group continued the journey to the ANR location village using water transportation (a speedboat). Our journey was accompanied by Mr. Paisal, a middle-aged man who has been working as a speedboat driver for a long time. Unlike Java Island, transportation in Kalimantan Island often utilizes rivers as the main transportation option. The journey to the ANR location village took about 4 hours. The journey was quite interesting, of course, because we were presented with views ranging from settlements of riverside communities to riparian forests. During the journey, in addition to the interesting views, there was another interesting thing: on Mr. Paisal’s speedboat, there was an inscription that read “Nuan tenang” which made me curious. So, I dared to ask what it meant. According to him, the meaning of “Nuan tenang” is “you are calm”. Yes, this sentence is quite meaningful as a calming agent for Mr. Paisal’s speedboat passengers. Before we knew it, we had arrived at the dock of Senangan Kecil village. Senangan Kecil village became the base camp where we stayed during the ANR capacity-building activity. Mr. Sius’s lodging was used to accommodate guests from the BPSKL team from Kalimantan.

The first night in Senangan Kecil village, we used it to conduct a briefing discussing the flow of capacity building with the FIP-1 Project Village Facilitator, the North Sintang KPH, and of course the Kalimantan BPSKL Regional Office. The discussion resulted in agreeing on the type of material to be delivered and the location where the capacity building would be conducted. Capacity building, commonly known as Bimtek (Technical Guidance), on ANR aims to enable communities to independently design the methods and management of forest rehabilitation using the ANR method.

The first day of the Bimtek was carried out by conducting socialization with the forest management members in the location villages where ANR would be implemented. There were two location villages for ANR implementation, namely Radin Jaya village and Tanjung Sari village. The socialization was carried out at the Radin Jaya village office and was attended by 27 participants. The socialization included the ANR location map, ANR baseline data, and ANR implementation and management procedures. The socialization event ended with the delivery of information regarding the implementation of the Bimtek activity

The second day of the ANR Bimtek started with a tree planting ceremony at the same location as the first day, which was the base camp of KPH Sintang Utara in the village of Senangan Kecil, in conjunction with World Forest Day. Afterward, it was time for the ANR boundary training. Before that, a pre-test was conducted to quantitatively assess the group’s knowledge about the material to be presented. After the pre-test, the participants were introduced to the background and importance of establishing ANR forest boundaries and the steps involved in the process. In addition to being listeners, the Bimtek participants also practiced using the tool for forest boundary mapping, which was the Global Positioning System (GPS). The participants appeared to be very enthusiastic as this was their first time using a GPS. During the process, the participants were divided into several groups and were asked to find the designated point by the BPH team. Finally, the participants were asked to explain through a presentation what was found at the designated point.

On the third day of the Bimtek, the training continued at the KPH Sintang Utara basecamp in the village of Senangan Kecil, with a focus on the ANR forest boundary. However, the training now covered the use of another tool for boundary delineation, which is Avenza Maps. Avenza Maps is a free mobile mapping application that can be downloaded and used offline, which greatly facilitates its use for participants. After practicing the use of Avenza Maps, each group representative was asked to share their experience with the other participants. The next topic on the third day was the ANR Working Area (PAK), which was introduced at the beginning of the session. Participants then proceeded to create a PAK for a designated ANR working location, including delineating boundaries, dividing the area into working zones, and establishing inspection routes. Participants seemed to be happy and enthusiastic during the PAK creation process, as they were given the freedom to express their creativity in drawing their respective PAKs. Finally, each group presented its PAK creation results.

The fourth and fifth days of the training were held in Radin Jaya village, specifically in the forest near the Radin Jaya village office. The material given was related to the forest. On the fourth day, the participants were taken to the forest to identify priority species that had social, cultural, economic, or ecological significance to them. The participants were very enthusiastic and identified many priority species that needed to be preserved, such as trees that were useful for building materials, for cultural events, or as raw materials for crafts. After registering and identifying the priority species, the participants were asked to draw and describe the usefulness of each species. At this stage, it became apparent that many participants were more suited to being artists than members of the forest management team. After drawing and describing the usefulness of the priority species, the participants were asked to present their work. Finally, each group of participants was asked to gather and discuss the selection of priority species that needed to be preserved. The discussion was challenging because the participants had to commit to preserving the selected species and not exploiting them, even though some of the wood species were used for building materials. However, with the help of the facilitator (Mr. Ropan), the discussion was resolved.

On the fifth day, the participants were taken back into the forest, but this time they were asked to practice weeding the priority seedlings that had been planted earlier. This weeding was done by removing weeds and plants that could inhibit the growth of the priority species. After weeding the seedlings, the participants were asked to draw the weeding process and make a presentation to the other participants.

The last day of the training was held again at the KPH Sintang Utara basecamp in Senangan Kecil village. The participants were asked to think about the types of forest disturbances and their possible solutions that could occur in the ANR forest area. Some participants created campaigns in the form of drawings to prevent forest encroachment and burning, while others explained the importance of socializing with encroachers who are accustomed to encroaching on the ANR forest. At the end of the meeting, the participants were equipped with administrative materials for ANR implementation and a post-test to assess their knowledge of ANR forest management after the training. The training was concluded with a meal together between the BPH team, participants, and BPSKL Kalimantan Region, with mixed feelings during the meal and group photos. There was a feeling of sadness as they had to part with the participants after spending five days together, but also a feeling of joy because the participants had completed the training very well.

As the ANR Bimtek came to an end, so did the enjoyable journey that lasted almost a week in the small village of Senangan. The BPH-BPSKL Kalimantan team finally had to return to Sintang, still accompanied by Pak Paisal with his distinctive speedboat. Upon arrival in Sintang, we (Red: BPH team) parted ways with the BPSKL Kalimantan team, as we had to continue our journey to Pontianak and then directly to Jakarta to resume our routine in the Rainy City.


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