The Power of 22 Horses and a Cable-Winch

Written by Matt Barrett on . Posted in Learn

In East Kalimantan, Indonesia, a forester from The Nature Conservancy by the name of Nawa Irianto is on a mission to show logging companies how they can help maintain healthy forests, fight carbon pollution, and increase their bottom line by replacing bulldozers with a tiny 22-horsepower engine and a cable-winch.

A recent Living on Earth radio segment featured the work of Nawa and the Conservancy in the Berau District of East Kalimantan.

Typically, logging companies will use bulldozers to remove felled trees from the forest. This high-impact process causes emissions from the bulldozers, damages the forest floor, increases dirty runoff into local water systems, and destroys other trees to allow for logging roads.

Nawa and other Conservancy staff in Indonesia are working to replace the bulldozer system with a cable-winch system. It’s a very simple machine using, in one example, a small 22-horsepower engine (about 10 times smaller than the typical bulldozer) that powers a spool with a metal cable on it that removes the wood from the forest floor without all the damage caused by high-impact bulldozers.

The end result is less carbon pollution, a healthier forest with more standing trees and happier local communities. These practices can also help logging companies earn Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for their logs. Certified logs fetch a premium price – as much as three-and-a-half times the price of non-certified – on the open market.

Nawa is now working with eight of the 13 timber companies who own rights in the Berau District. It’s a low-impact logging strategy that Nawa and the Conservancy hopes will eventually help change the way the country as a whole manages its tropical forests.

Matt Barrett is marketing manager for climate change at The Nature Conservancy

Photo by: Peter Ellis/The Nature Conservancy (The Nature Conservancy’s Nawa Irianto.)

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Comments (1)

  • Honeysuckle

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    IMHO you’ve got the right aesnwr!

    Reply

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Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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