The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment.
Conservation is vital but area and economic development is similarly important, Heart of Borneo Leader from the WWF Iwan Wibisono said in a discussion on development of Heart of Borneo here on Wednesday.
Heart of Borneo initiative came from the governments of Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and Malaysia to preserve a tropical rain forest and best water catch forest in the interior area of Borneo (Kalimantan).
Iwan said the three countries work together to make the Heart of Borneo as a model for inclusive green development by maintaining bio-diversity and value of ecosystem service in productive activities and model of business in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, ecotourism, energy and other sectors.
Those activities encourage continuity as long as the local people and traditional community are given access to natural resources and help create their livelihood, integrate strong and deep rooted social values in traditional knowledge and cultural heritage of the traditional community in the area of the Heart of Borneo, he said.
Inclusive green development gives emphasis to conservation program but at the same time allows area and economic development for natural protection and preservation as well as improvement of the welfare of the local community.
Iwan said environmental conservation and economic development could go at the same time with sustainable development system.
Conservation could also contribute to economic development through expansion of environmentally friendly economic activities such as sustainable oil palm plantations and cultural activities related to environmental aspect, he said.
He said conservation activities in the area of Heart of Borneo means promoting management of the protected areas such as national Parks and wildlife reserves.
"We are not saying that conservation is the only thing that is important and stop economic development or the reverse. It is not the right way of development," he said.
The governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei declared a commitment to preserve and carry out sustainable management of the Heart of Borneo at a meeting in Bali on 12 February in 2007.
The area of Heart of Borneo occupies 23 hectares of forests connected ecologically with the three nations. Around 71 percent or 16.89 million hectares of the tropical rain forest are on Indonesian territory.
In 2008, the Indonesian part of the area of Heart of Borneo was declared as National Strategic Area by the government of Indonesia. Now the areas occupy four provinces and 17 district areas in Kalimantan.
Reporting by Martha Herlinawati S, A Saragih
Editing by Eliswan Azly