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Indonesia: Christian | Batak Church forestry in Sumatra | Restoring the forest round Lake Toba | Toraja Church Forestry in Sulawesi | Indonesia: environment meeting | How the Toraja project works

Restoring the forest round Lake Toba

Sorting cloves after the harvest
The community response

The indigenous Batak Church is campaigning alongside other church denominations and traditional Batak leaders to inspire local people to protect and restore the forests and the lake through replanting and organic technique. THe first sites for replanting are in the districts of North Tapanuli and Samosir. Seedlings have been planted in a 100 hectare are where erosion, water scarcity and forest burning are the most severe. Additional planting is being carried out in the grounds of selected Batak churches and schools, and on church forest lands.

Organic techniques

Organic farming techniques have been integrated into the replanting programme under the direction of the Director of the Reforestation programme, an agronomist and four field staff. THey are supported by the Batak Church and their high visibility advocacy work against businesses putting untreated waste into rivers and lakes. Another important part of the project is awareness-raising and education in the local community.

Reintroducing local species

A tree nursery has been set up by the Batak Church at Sipholon, cultivating a range of trees including:

Timber trees:
Toona sureni and Mahogany
Fruit trees:
jackfruit, avocado, palm, and durian
Mixed planting:
Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae (beech), Quercus (oak), and Castanea (chestnut), Lithocarpus (tanoak), Lauraceae (laurels, including cinnamon and avocado), Litsea, Cunoniaceae, Monimiaceae, Magnoliaceae and Hamamelidaceae.

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Related information

Interfaith document, 23 May 2003:
Goroka Declaration on Christians and the Environment
An inter-church commitment to care for the environment in Papua New Guinea - undergirded by the Evangelical Alliance of PNG.
Indonesia: Christian ecology
Indonesian Christians are re-awakening traditional values by focusing on issues like deforestation and soil erosion, and through education, prayer and the authority of the local clan leaders.
Batak Christians fight back against lake pollution
A campaign to tackle pollution caused by logging and factories on Lake Toba in Indonesia