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 inhabiting 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.
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 make private donations onsite at the Festival’s venues, online through our ticketing page: www.balispiritfestival.com/tickets or via bank transfer:
Bank Name: Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI)
Account Name: Yayasan Kryasta Guna
Account Number: 0590 01 000 589 308
Swift Code: BRINIDJA
PURCHASE BALISPIRIT FESTIVAL TICKETS
When buying an Abundance Pass or Spirit Pass to BaliSpirit Festival, a portion of your ticket will go straight to 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.
An upcoming project of Bali ReGreen is planting 2500 more bamboo seedlings on unproductive land at Desa Bunutin, Kintamani – Bangli. The bamboo experts will share knowledge to the community about the benefits of planting bamboo, including understanding the types of bamboo and characteristics; how to seed, plant, maintain and harvest bamboo plants.
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.