Bali ReGreen

Bali Regreen - Bamboo reforestation program, empowering farmers and the local community economically and environmentally.

“Our commitment to the environment and the people of Bali is not just in a message, but in action as well”
– Kadek Gunarta, Festival Co-Founder and Cultural Liaison

Bali Regreen is a sustainable environmental project aiming to fight land degradation in the island’s driest areas whilst also educating and training the people who inhabit the land. It is one of the most exciting projects in the region, with an emphasis on long term economic benefits for some of Bali’s poorest people.

Although Bali seems incredibly lush and vibrant, there are huge tracts of the island, especially in the East that suffers from extreme dryness and as a result, little to no vegetation. Due to these conditions, the communities inhabited in these damaged areas live in poverty.

BaliSpirit Festival and Yayasan Kryasta Guna have partnered with the Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF) in an effort to help poor communities in Desa Songan, East Bali since 2011. Desa Songan is located in the caldera of Batur volcano and is one of the 82 poorest villages in Bali, with almost 35% of it’s 8,000 people living below the poverty line. Not only do these people have to overcome the daily obstacle of a harsh environment with land degradation, but also have a lack of economic opportunity.

At BaliSpirit, we believe reforestation is more than looking after and giving back to the earth; it is also about looking after its people.

So how do we help communities in Bali?

BaliSpirit, Yayasan Kryasta Guna, & EBF have planted 4,300 bamboo seedlings to help these poor and arid villages, helping to bring water to the arid land and rehabilitate it, but it doesn’t stop there. Our extended team of staff and volunteers also train village farmers to care for the soon-to-be bamboo forest on their previously unproductive land, while simultaneously developing a small-scale micro-economy in these affected communities.

Why bamboo?

Bamboo provides a large water catchment area

Due to the wide-spreading root system, uniquely shaped leaves and dense litter on the forest floor, bamboo greatly reduces rain run-off, preventing massive soil erosion in the water catchment area and retaining up to twice as much water within that soil. Songan lies in the water catchment area that flows into Batur Lake, the second largest water reservoir for the entire island of Bali. Water from here feeds huge tracts into Bali’s famous rice fields, so this project has huge impacts.

Bamboo is great for fast re-greening of dry and unproductive areas

Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded lands. Bamboo has been measured shooting skywards at two inches (5cm) an hour and some species grow up to 5 feet (1.5m) a day!

Bamboo is a high yield crop for farmers to grow

Bamboo is a high-yield renewable resource and grows fast, able to be harvested in 3-5 years (versus 10-20 years for most softwoods). Bamboo generates a crop every year for farmers to sell, either as poles or in the form of handicrafts used by the Balinese community, providing even more job opportunities in Batur as old traditions and skills are revived and sustained. Some of the largest timber bamboo can grow over 30 m (98 ft.) tall, and be as large as 15–20 cm (5.9–7.9 in) in diameter. One clump can produce 200 poles in the three to five years.

The Balinese use a lot of bamboo

Bamboo is the traditional forest of Bali and bamboo is an integral part of every Balinese person’s life. From birth to death, each religious rite in Bali involves bamboo in some form. It is used across the island for scaffolding, baskets, offerings, preparing food, shelters and homes, furniture, boats, handicrafts and so much more. If farmers have this crop on their land, they don’t need to spend money to buy bamboo.

After the planting…

It is more than just planting bamboo seedlings. Bamboo needs basic maintenance and the farmers need training to know how to do this the right way. Right now, the focus is on ensuring the bamboo seedlings make it to the crucial 3 year ‘safety zone’ and the first year of harvest. Bamboo is low maintenance, but, like any crop, it needs fertilizer, water and human attention to thrive.

The Bali Regreen project works closely with farmers setting up for the first 3 years. The focus is on farmer bamboo care and harvest education, developing an irrigation system and post-harvest processing to add value to the bamboo crops.

How can you help?

You can support this initiative in the following ways:

Make a donation

BaliSpirit Festival Guests can also make private donations of onsite at the Festival’s venues, online donation through our ticketing page: www.balispiritfestival.com/tickets or via a bank transfer:

Bank Name: Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI)
Account Name: Yayasan Kryasta Guna
Account Number: 0590 01 000 589 308
Branch: Ubud
Swift Code: BRINIDJA

Purchase BaliSpirit Festival tickets

Buying an Abundance and Spirit Pass ticket to the BaliSpirit Festival and a portion of your ticket will go straight to the Bali ReGreen Project.

Take initiative and find out more

Visit the EBF (Environmental Bamboo Foundation) website here and find out how to get more involved.

What success looks like

BaliSpirit estimates that it will take another 3 years of support (total 5 years) to make this project self-sustaining. By 2017, we have planted more than 10,000 seeds in Bali and educated more than 500 farmers about sustainability of bamboo reforestation.

Bali Regreen project details from 2012-2014:

Phase I covered the hamlets of Alengkong and Bukit Sari of Songan B Village, Bangli District, with 390 seedlings, and trained 5 farmers from each hamlet.

In December 22, 2013, Phase II included planting 4,000 more seedlings, donated by KTI (John Hardy Jewelry) and trained a further 310 farmers. After seeing the success in the 2 hamlets where Bali Regreen already operates, 12 other hamlets in the village asked us to expand the program.

Phase III included planting another 5,000 seedlings in Meyeh hamlet and ongoing work with farmers until the crucial first harvest.

Bali Regreen project details from 2015-2016:

Each family in the Batu Meyeh community were only able to have 8 liters of water per day caused by dryness and poverty they cannot afford to build the infrastructure to increase water flow to the area. Responding to these conditions, Bali ReGreen with the donors, built the infrastructure by developing water pipelines as long as 9.6 km so the Batu Meyeh community can maintain the bamboo plantation and get access to clean water. This project in Batu Meyeh ran successfully for 1 year, from the end of January until December 2015.

In January 2016, assisted by the surrounding community, Bali Regreen planted 500 more seedlings of bamboo petung and bamboo tali in Amed, Karangasem in East Bali. The program continued with 172 coconut trees, 230 Albesia, and 1000 bamboo seedling plantations in Batu Meyeh hamlet at Karangasem and Bubung Kelambu hamlet at Kintamani - Bangli. By 30th April 2016, in cooperation with Udayana University, KORAMIL, POLSEK, junior and high school students surrounding the Gerogak sub-distric of Buleleng – Bali, a total of over 2000 bamboo seeds were planted.

Bali ReGreen program for 2017 - 2019

For 2017 – 2019, The Bali ReGreen program aims to start some activities to maintain and monitor the seeds that had been planted at Alengkong, Bukit Sari, batu Meyeh A & B, Amed, Bubung Kelambu, and Gerogak hamlets. In November – December 2017, Bali ReGreen will start bamboo education and plantation in Madya hamlet, at Trunyan – Kintamani Bangli.

We thank our sponsors and partners who have assisted our sustainable program and continue to keep the focus on education, such as; compost making, cultivation of bamboo seedlings, irrigation system, and implementation of Bamboo and livestock farmers group. Furthermore, also focusing on empowering local communities, economically and environmentally.

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