Palangkaraya – January 7: U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Brian McFeeters and Minister for the Environment, Siti Nurbaya, launched two new initiatives to improve natural resource management in Central Kalimantan: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) LESTARI, the flagship forestry management program managed by that will reduce green-house gas emissions and increase biodiversity conservation; and the Sister Protected Areas Partnership, a USAID funded partnership between the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry and the Environment, and the Sebangau and Tanjung Puting National Parks.
The Sister Protected Area partnership is part of the five-year Strengthening Indonesia’s National Parks and Wildlife Protection project implemented by DOI and funded by the U. S Agency for International Development. Since its initiation five years ago, the DOI has trained 72 Indonesian park managers, and completed three natural resource assessments. Teams from Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida have teamed up to work with the sites in Kalimantan because they share similar wetland ecosystems and common management challenges.