ImpactAlpha, May 30 – Indonesia is among the world’s small number of “mega bio-diverse” countries – and has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation. Nusantara Fund invests in Indigenous communities to support livelihoods and climate resilience while restoring land and protecting biodiversity.
It has raised $3 million from philanthropic organizations and local NGOs toward a targeted $20 million fund.
Less than 2% of climate finance goes to Indigenous and other community land stewards. Nusantara is a joint effort of AMAN, a community-led organization representing 20 million Indonesians; KPA, which focuses on agrarian reform; and environmental group WALHI. Members of local and Indigenous communities sit on the fund’s advisory board.
KPA’s Dewi Kartika said Nusantara represents “a new model for delivering development support to the people most capable of reducing the environmental damage, realizing food and economic sovereignty.”
Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker added that Nusantara is “placing grassroots leaders at the center of climate solutions.”
In its pilot phase, Nusantara invested in more than 30 communities. Nusantara provided a grant to the village of Ibun, about 100 miles southeast of Jakarta, to reclaim and rehabilitate depleted state-controlled land. The community is growing coffee and other high-value crops and has helped restore wildlife to the area.
Nusantara is supporting the $1.7 billion Forest Tenure Pledge, made at the 2021 COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, to assist Indigenous communities in securing rights to ancestral land.