Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Indonesian Honey Harvesting Operation Saves Trees

The Sweetest Way to Save Forests
By Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post (Indonesia), 4/15/2008

A new honey harvesting operation is proving to be a good business model with an added sweetener: it could help preserve the country's forests.

"We aim to promote sustainable honey harvesting, preserve the forest as the bee's habitat, maintaining indigenous cultures and improve the quality of the honey," said Indonesian Forest Honey Network (JMHI) executive Valentinus Hari.

He was speaking during the Honey Festival in Bogor Botanical Garden on Saturday, on the sidelines of a product launch in collaboration with the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Exchange Program and another Bogor-based environmental watchdog, Telapak.

The Dorsata brand honey is produced by the indigenous people of the preserved forest Sentarum Lake National Park in West Kalimantan.

Surianto, a member of Apis Dorsata honey farmers group in Sentarum, said they harvested honey in the forest from October and March, while relying on freshwater fishing to make a living for the rest of the year.

Previously the tribe had cut trees down to harvest the honey.

"Local environmental group Riak Bumi taught us how to take honey without destroying the ecosystem ... We rely too much on the forest for our livelihood, so we are keeping it safe," Surianto said…

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