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.
Emily Readett Bayley’s first visit to Hutan Harapan RSPB Forest of Hope in Sumatra was to research the craft heritage of the indigenous Batin Sembilan community and quantify what sustainable natural materials can be cultivated or sourced from within the ecosystem restoration area that makes up the forest concession. The aim is to provide livelihood opportunities for these semi nomadic people who like the tigers they share the forest with are finding it harder and harder to subsist as hunters or gatherers. She has been asked by the RSPB and partners to develop a variety of handcrafted products including baskets, brushes, plant pots and bird boxes suitable for sale in European Garden Centres.
Emily’s working with the RSPB in their rainforest ERC, Hutan Harapan in Sumatra – home of the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger
Hutan Harapan is an ecosystem restoration concession in South Sumatra where the RSPB and partners are working alongside the indigenous forest communities to protect and maintain an area of virgin rainforest threatened by rapidly expanding palm oil plantations.The forest is home to many endangered birds and rare animals including the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger which is increasingly being forced out into plantations with tragic consequences. See this article today in The Jakarta Post
Believe it or not people start thinking about the Autumn in August so Wildash London have kindly offered to support “operation PLANET BASKET” and sell our beautiful and very strong, rattan log baskets at this year’s Wilderness Festival 3-6 August 2017.