Humanity is currently facing two devastating and urgent crises: climate change and loss of biodiversity. One of the biggest contributions to climate change is the catastrophic rate of deforestation around the world.

Destruction of the natural environment, especially the loss of carbon-rich forests, is second only to the burning of fossil fuels in contributing to climate change.

This is where the Katingan Mentaya Project comes in. The project is designed to reduce emissions from deforestation by fundamentally changing global behaviour.

Among other initiatives, this involves demonstrating the value of protecting and regenerating natural forest landscapes.


What does the Katingan Project do?

Working with local communities and a global network of NGOs, academic institutions and corporations, the Katingan Mentaya Project protects 157,875 hectares of forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The destruction of forests currently pumps more than seven billion tonnes of emissions into the atmosphere every year globally.

So, where does the Katingan Mentaya project fit in? By offering a solution to businesses to buy fully verified, high-quality carbon credits and offset emissions in a meaningful way.

The project area covers a vast area of peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. And thanks to the protection of the forest and peatland, the local community and biodiversity of the intact peat swamp is retained. The project also safeguards the habitat of many important endangered species.

Recognising the vital importance of areas like those protected by the Katingan Project is essential for our future and an important tool in global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change.

The voluntary carbon market is growing exponentially as businesses seek ways to offset emissions that cannot otherwise be removed from their operations and supply chains. This, in turn, drives large-scale recovery and safety of tropical forests.


Forest fires are a major contributor to global carbon emissions. The Katingan Mentaya Project fire prevention team is always on duty supporting community initiatives to counter fire threats in the area surrounding the project.



Why should businesses invest in the voluntary carbon market?

The voluntary carbon market has grown rapidly over recent years. This coincides  with a growing awareness across the corporate, government and public sectors that rapid, large-scale, and cohesive efforts are needed to address global GHG emissions.

Data analysis shows that the number of worldwide emissions outweigh the amount the natural environment can absorb.

And part of the solution lies in the free market. Putting a price on carbon, in the form of a voluntary credit equalling one tonne of emissions, helps change people’s behaviour.

In simple market terms, when resources become more expensive, alternatives are developed much faster. Or natural green alternatives become much more attractive to companies that need them.

By creating an ETS (emission trading system), there is a reason for businesses and people to change their attitudes and behaviour. The knock-on effect is that individual projects improve the natural ecosystem and form sustainable restoration projects.

One of the largest of these projects is the Katingan Project, launched by PT Rimba Makmur Utama.


Who else is involved in the Katingan Mentaya project with PT Rimba Makmur Utama (RMU)?

RMU works in partnership with a number of organisations on the Katingan Project. These partners include:

– Permian Global – committed to protecting and restoring natural forest ecosystems, safeguarding the biodiversity within these forests and improving the livelihoods of local communities.

– Puter Indonesia – a non-profit organisation (NPO) based in Bogor, Java.

The project area of Katingan Mentaya covers more than 157,000 hectares of tropical forest peatland. By protecting carbon-rich rainforest, the Mentaya project represents one of the largest emission reduction forest projects in the world.

While the above ground biomass stores significant volumes of carbon, more than 90% of the total carbon within the Katingan Mentaya Project is stored in the peat swamp.

Beneath the forest, the carbon is protected in the peat swamp. In places, the peatland is more than 26,000 years old and buried up to 13 metres deep. Without the project, up to 447,110,760 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere over the course of 60 years.

Without the Katingan project, the area would have been cleared of forest, the peat soil would have been drained and land converted to industrial acacia plantations.

This would have caused devastating emissions from deforestation and the oxidation from the drying peat soil, alongside the destruction of the land’s biodiversity. To convert the tropical forests in the Katingan region to industrial farmland plantations, the carbon would have been released into the atmosphere. This is essentially the opposite of the kind of sustainable development that the world needs.

Beneath the forest, the carbon is protected in the peat swamp. The peatland is more than 26,000 years old and buried up to 13 metres deep. Without the project, up to 447,110,760 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere over the course of 60 years.


The Katingan Mentaya Project prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to 447,110,760 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 60 years. That makes it the world’s largest forest-based avoided emissions project.



How do carbon credits work as part of the Katingan Mentaya Project?

Carbon credits, particularly those generated through verified forest protection and restoration projects, offer a real-world solution for offsetting global emissions that can’t yet be eliminated through greener processes or renewable energy.

Crucially, it provides businesses and industrial organisations with a means of immediately addressing currently unavoidable emissions.

Verified carbon credits should be part of a broader emissions reduction strategy within an organisation. These projects often deliver additional benefits, such as improved biodiversity and community wellbeing. This gives companies supporting them the opportunity to fulfil more diverse global targets, such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Each verified carbon unit (VCU) purchased by a company stops the emission of one tonne of CO2.

The triple gold standard credits available to businesses through the project ensure that not only are emissions reduced but other sustainable development targets are also contributed towards.

For businesses interested in buying carbon standard credits from the project, follow this link directly to the Katingan Mentaya Project’s website. You can also find more information on the project and support from its team.


What exactly does the Katingan Mentaya Project protect?

The project already works. It is living proof that there are practical measures through carbon finance that can actively protect the environment and contribute to vital conservation.

Around 7.5 million carbon credits (or VCUs) are generated by the project every year. For some context, this is roughly the same as removing two million cars out of circulation each year.

Within the forests under protection by the project, vital peat land is also protected. Furthermore, a number of important species come under the protection of the project.

The restoration of the forest, and protection from fire and destruction ensures the continuation and conservation of the following endangered species found in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia:

– Five critically endangered species.

– Eight endangered species.

– 31 vulnerable species.

Indonesia’s forest areas are home to many endangered animals, including the Borneo Orangutan, Southern Bornean Gibbon and the Proboscis Monkey.


The Katingan Mentaya Project is home to 5-10% of the remaining Bornean Orangutan population.



How does the Katingan Project contribute towards the UN’s SDGs?


SDG 1: No Poverty

By mobilising climate change funding, the Katingan Mentaya Project works with the local community to look at smart choices in utilising natural resources in a sustainable manner and in line with the goals of restoration and protection of forest ecosystems.


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

A healthy, sustainable forest means a healthy, sustainable local community in this Indonesian region. The Project seeks to reduce water and air pollution by restoring forests, preventing fires and conducting campaigns for healthy living.


SDG 5: Gender Equality

The ensures equal rights and opportunities for women to participate in all activities. As a result, all parties can realize their potential in achieving mutual progress. There is active promotion of activities to empower women, notably through provision of micro-finance. Health access and health education has a particular focus on women’s health issues.


SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Water runs in all aspects of life in the Katingan Mentaya Project, from flowing from springs, seeping through peatlands and helping people’s livelihoods. The Project aims to maintain the water quality for the benefit of community and peat swamp forest ecosystem by continuing the funding of latrines, watershed protection, peatland rewetting and conservation activities and aquaculture and sustainable fisheries.


SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

The Project supports innovation to develop environmentally friendly products that will inspire the growth of local initiatives to protect forests and simultaneously create new markets.


SDG 13: Climate Action.

Tropical forests containing peatland, such as Indonesia’s Katingan region provide natural carbon storage. The project actively stops the release of carbon from the peatland. The project generates reductions in excess of 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In addition, the project works directly with local communities to ensure the development of sustainable actions to safeguard the future resilience to climate change.


SDG 15: Life on Land

The Katingan Mentaya Project maintains one of the largest areas of peat swamp forest in Indonesia and thus provides a sanctuary for a wide variety of important flora and fauna.  The project area contains over 67 mammals, 167 bird species, 49 reptiles, and 111 fish species. It is essential for endangered species as it concentrates on the restoration of the natural ecosystem. By protecting the surrounding area, the project and its partners ensure it isn’t converted into acacia plantations.


SDG 16: Peace & Justice / Strong Institutions

All activities support the formation of strong local institutions and a culture of continuous learning, so that the sustainable development goals can be achieved.


SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

The team at Katingan Mentaya passionately believe that working with different global partners and with local communities, it’s possible to build a better future.

The economic success of this project is dependent on partnerships with local communities that will last into the future, as well as with the private, public and civil sectors.


The Katingan Mentaya Project aims to improve the quality of basic education and the number of enrolment, and encourage the youth to pursue higher education.



Key focus areas for the Katingan Mentaya Project

The three focus areas for the project are Climate, Community and Biodiversity. Through the practice of selling carbon credits that are backed by scientific data, the project is actively tackling the second biggest cause of climate change behind oil and other fossil fuels.

In partnership with local communities in the region, the project ensures that the forest is protected from fire. By ensuring that certified credits are sold to businesses such as Shell the project can support the aims of major industries to achieve their emission program and goals too.