Emily returned to Indonesia in February 2019 to design some bird themed products which can be made by the indigenous Batin Sembilan people who live in the Hutan Harapan, Forest of Hope, the last remaining area of lowland rainforest in South Sumatra. It was the first Ecosystem Restoration Concession granted by the Indonesian government and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has supported the initiative for 18 years. It is home to many critically endangered birds as well as Sumatran tigers and Asian Elephant. A small community of Batin Sembilan , who are indigenous to the region, also live in the forest and the aim is to utilise their traditional weaving and craft skills and use sustainable materials such as rattan and pandanus grass that can be cultivated in the forest to make baskets, nest boxes and decorations suitable for sale by the RSPB. The hope is to kick start a community craft industry and offer an alternative to working in the palm oil plantations which completely surround this forest.
Tag / agroecology
Emily met with Julian Wade from the UK Organic Food Federation at their HQ in Swaffham to follow up a discussion they had at the inaugural Indonesian Organic Food Day.
This was organised by The Indonesian Embassy in London and took place in The Marriot Hotel at County Hall, Westminster. The highlight was a talk by Helianti Hilman from Javara Indigenous Indonesia who work with around 50,000 smallholder farmers and foragers across the Indonesian archepelago helping them to strengthen their production capacity, market their organic food and in doing so, preserve the incredible biodiversity of the default organic food they produce. Emily plans to connect with Helianti in Indonesia and introduce some of the farmers she is working with to the Javara training courses and follow up some of the ideas discussed. The Organic Food Federation is keen to help introduce some Indonesian organic food, including cocoa, coffee and coconut products to the ever more sophisticated and health concious British consumer.
Dharsono Hartono CEO of the Katingan Mentaya project received one of the sustainable business awards for Indonesia which are given to companies who are working on solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. The work undertaken by the Katingan Mentaya project tackles deforestation in Kalimantan, a region of the world where it is the most damaging and where the implications are global and impact, rainfall, carbon emissions, food security and biodiversity in equal measure.
The Spirit of Christmas Fair will return to Olympia London from 29 October – 4 November 2017 where you can uncover extraordinary gifts.
Emily Readett-Bayley will be there on stand GG9 with her unique range of ethically made Christmas decorations and the POSH Graffiti wall. She is thrilled to be sharing her stand this year with Chantal Coady OBE, and they will be launching their Chocolate Futures crowd funding campaign which aims to bring fine Indonesian cocoa to the United Kingdom and in doing so empower marginalised farming communities. Delicious Rococo Chocolates will also be on sale and you can find them on the Gift Gallery next to the Louis Roederer Champagne Bar!
from 29 OCT – 4 NOV 2017 | OLYMPIA LONDON
Following her first visit to the Hutan Harapan Emily returned in May and August to see the samples of traditional baskets and household items used in daily life made by the indigenous Batin Sembilan community. Most baskets were woven from rattan vines and bamboo collected in the forest and mats from giant pandanus leaves.
Hutan Harapan means Forest of Hope and is made up of 50,000 hectares of production forest which is now being protected from conversion to palm oil plantations and restored back to a balance ecosystem. The initiative is backed by the RSPB as many rare birds live in the forest along with about 16 pairs of critically endangered Sumatran tigers. Empowering the Batin Sembilan and offering alternative livelihood options to palm oil cultivation for the migrant communities that live in the area is a critical part of the process and it is hoped that agroecology combined with developing traditional artisan crafts and ecotourism can achieve this.