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Project January 15, 2021

Climate Tracker Southeast Asia Forest Recovery Collaborative Journalism


Despite having the largest share of the world's tropical forest, Southeast Asia has become the world's major deforestation hotspot that suffers from severe biodiversity loss. This is mostly due to the conversion of intact forests into plantations, such as for palm oil.

Many efforts have been implemented to prevent deforestation such as the REDD+ project. But many met dead ends because most of the projects were done by people who don’t live near the forests themselves; thus, they don’t see the importance of keeping the forests intact. On the other hand, many communities living around or in forests across Southeast Asia have been trying to do as much as they can to recover their lost forests.

This collaborative project under Climate Tracker will highlight efforts done by local communities in countries — Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Cambodia — to keep their last forests intact. Some have garnered results, such as the forest community in the Cardanom Mountains in Cambodia and former forest encroachers in Central Java who seek to atone for their sins by replanting forests for the last 10 years.