Slow Food Supports Forest Beekeepers in Nanga Lauk Village in Indonesia

29 Ene 2024 | English

A Presidium to promote a honey, a bee species
and a unique forest ecosystem

The recently established Nanga Lauk Forest Honey Presidium [Link] is Slow Food’s latest in Indonesia, bringing the total number of Presidia in the country to four.

The Presidia are part of Slow Food’s global project to transform the cultivated plant varieties, livestock breeds and artisan products that represent at-risk biodiversity into agroecological food systems.

Across the world, biodiversity is disappearing, depleting our resources and weakening our resilience to the climate crisis. Forests in particular are home to most of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, yet forests and their biodiversity continue to be lost at an alarming rate. According to the FAOdeforestation is the greatest driver of the loss of valuable biodiversity. Around 10 million hectares of forest are lost to deforestation each year, mainly because of agricultural expansion, though other threats include over-harvesting of timber, invasive species, climate change, desertification and forest fires.

Indonesia is known for its extensive and diverse forests and Kalimantan in the Borneo Island and is home to extensive and ecologically significant rainforests. These forests are rich in biodiversity and are home to various species of flora and fauna, including endangered ones like the orangutan. The forests in Kalimantan are crucial for maintaining ecological balance, providing habitat for diverse wildlife, and supporting the livelihoods of local communities. Deforestation and habitat loss have been significant challenges in Kalimantan but the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples communities in the island have put in place significant initiatives for conservation and sustainable land use practices to protect these ecosystems.

In Kalimantan, the rivers and lakes around Nanga Lauk village provide a natural habitat for a diverse range of flowering plants. These plants serve as a crucial food source for Apis dorsata, a species of forest bee that relies on the surrounding natural bounty to produce high-quality honey. Among the many plant species that thrive in this environment, Putat (Barringtonia acutangula) and Tahun (Carallia bracteata) trees stand out as particularly abundant sources of nectar, making them essential to the production of premium forest honey.

Bees and other pollinators are a pillar of biodiversity, yet environmental degradation and the climate crisis have sent bees and biodiversity into an unprecedented crisis. Pollinator species are facing extinction rates anywhere between 100 and 1,000 times higher than normal due to human activity. This is why Slow Food has established 23 honey Presidia so far worldwide.

Honey harvesting is often a crucial food source for Indigenous peoples. The Tamambaloh Dayak and Melayu communities of Nanga Lauk village have been gathering forest honey for at least the last century. Areas around lakes and rivers are designated for honey collection, and these areas are still passed down through families and agreed upon by family members, who coordinate harvests with each other to ensure efficiency and safety.

Imanul Huda, the Slow Food Presidium coordinator, says: “As of today, 25 producers are involved in the Presidium, but more are expected to join in the future. We are ready to commit ourselves to the Presidium’s aims: to promote sustainable honey production, enhance farmers’ management skills, establish fair business practices and foster communication and knowledge-sharing among stakeholders within the village of Nanga Lauk.”

The establishment of the Nanga Lauk Village Forest Honey Presidium has been achieved through the dedicated activism of the local Slow Food Indigenous Peoples’ Network and the invaluable support of IFAD (the International Fund for Agricultural Development).

 

For more information:
The Slow Food Presidium project supports quality products at risk of disappearing, protects unique territories and ecosystems, promotes traditional processing methods and safeguards indigenous species and local plant varieties. Today, over 14,000 producers are involved in 673 Presidia around the world.
Slow Food is an international network of local communities founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local culinary cultures and traditions and to halt the spread of fast-food culture. Since then, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in 160 countries, working to ensure that everyone has access to good, healthy and fair food. Slow Food is the coordinating organization responsible for leading the movement as a whole.
Slow Food International Press Office
Paola Nano – [email protected] (+39) 329 8321285
Alessia Pautasso – [email protected] (+39) 342 8641029

 

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