This project aims to preserve the endangered Rejoso watershed in Indonesia’s Pasuruan region. The program covers all parts of the watershed, including upstream, midstream, and downstream by building a shared responsibility among the water users.
Last update: 2023.09.18 – By: Marion CATTEAU
Tackling Local Challenges: Understanding the Issue
The Rejoso watershed, located on the East of Java Island. It is a crucial source of water for 1.3 million people in Indonesia.
However, over the years, the watershed's condition has deteriorated due to various factors, including deforestation, soil erosion, and improper land management practices. These environmental challenges have led to a severe decline in water quality and quantity, threatening the livelihoods of local communities and farmers who rely on it.
Further aggravating the situation are unsustainable farming practices, changing land use patterns, and unmanaged community drilling that exacerbate erosion and reduce water availability. The lack of environmental awareness and water resource regulations in the area further compound the issue, resulting in flooding and high river pollution downstream.
Introducing the Coalition: A Unified Front for Change
In 2016, a coalition of public and private entities came together in a joint effort to establish the "water alliance". It is dedicated to safeguarding the sustainability and conservation of the Rejoso watershed. Under the Rejoso Kita project, they collaboratively work towards the protection and preservation of the Rejoso watershed.
· NGOs: Danone Ecosystem, ICRAF, the Nature Conservancy, and Social Investment Indonesia Foundation
· Private Partners: AQUA
·Public partners: The Pasuruan Watershed Forum Alliance (FDPASR), and the Pasuruan local Government
A New Model for Progress: The Project's Vision
The program covers all parts of the watershed, including upstream, midstream, and downstream by building a shared responsibility among the water users.
Upstream and midstream:
The Rejoso Kita initiative supports farmers in sustaining their livelihoods through two main strategies: (1) protecting trees in the upstream areas and reforesting in the midstream areas, and (2) promoting the adoption of sustainable farming practices. Ultimately, these efforts contribute to the protection and preservation of watersheds.
To achieve this, the coalition has developed a financial scheme that provides support to farmers. This scheme involves offering payments to farmers who adopt and maintain regenerative practices on their land.
Under this scheme, farmers would receive annual payments. Funding for this initiative comes from both private and public entities who benefit from the protection of the watersheds.
This approach, known as "Payment for Ecosystem Service," has proven to be effective.
On the other hand, the downstream approach takes a different approach, it involves two key components: (1) implementing a sustainable rice cultivation program, and (2) ensuring proper installation of wells to facilitate the adoption of climate-smart practices by paddy rice farmers.
Benefits for the Whole Ecosystem [2023 project impact]
Upstream and midstream the implementation of best practices has resulted in the preservation of regenerative practices on approximately 106.6 hectares of land, which is equivalent to 152 football fields, as well as the preservation and replanting of over 47,000 trees. Disover the story of Markhrus, an upstream farmer here.
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