INFAPRO Forest Rehabilitation

The Challenge

The island of Borneo, Malaysia, has the world’s tallest tropical rainforest. It harbours an abundance of unique wildlife and biodiversity. However, this rainforest is becoming increasingly threatened by unsustainable land use, commercial logging and the increase of the palm oil plantations. Large areas are affected by heavy selective logging over the past decades, which strongly affected the quality of the forest. Recovery of the forest is hampered by abundant growth of vines and climbers, suppressing the young trees.

The Solution

Since 1992 Face the Future has been protecting and rehabilitating 25,000 hectares of degraded rainforest in Sabah, via tree planting and applying numerous ways of sustainable forest restoration activities. This project is known as INFAPRO. Our efforts over the past 20 years are restoring the ecosystem within the project area, allowing plant and animal biodiversity to flourish once again. These efforts have also resulted in emission reductions leading up to 1.5 million ton of CO2. This equals the CO2 emissions from 375,000 global average households per year. 5 to 10% of the trees we plant are fruit trees, which provide food sources for wildlife. There is migration of wildlife to and from Danum Valley Conservation Area (directly adjacent to our project) with the project area and the other surrounding forests. This provides for an enlarged, safe and healthy habitat for over 20 mammal species, including the highly endangered Orang-utan and 340 bird species. Within the project, a significant number of IUCN’s Red List (endangered) tree species are planted. Our local team collects the seeds and then grows them in our nursery to produce healthy seedlings. Our project employs over 20 fulltime local staff.

Project Details

Location: Sabah, Malaysia

Project Type: Improved Forest Management

Standards: Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

Project Video


>2 million trees planted
20 fulltime staff
>1.5 million t/CO2 sequestered
10% fruit trees
12,000 ha restored/25,000 ha protected
20 mammal species/340 bird species

Project Cooperation

In this project, we cooperate with different organisation members through our steering committee:

Income from The Sabah Foundation’s natural forest and plantation resource base is used to fund local welfare, education and conservation initiatives. We work together with Rakyat Berjaya, a subsidiary of Yayasan Sabah, which is responsible for the field project (implementation and management of the forest rehabilitation activities).

The British Royal Society is present through the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership in the nearby Danum Valley Conservation Area, coordinating scientific research on local biodiversity and forest ecosystem dynamics, and providing advice to the project organization. They operate as observers  in  the steering committee, together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

In Southeast Asia, this project serves as an example for large-scale rehabilitation through enrichment planting. It has been visited by many researchers, project developers, students, conservationists and government officials from all over the world. It has offered the opportunity for several research projects and project staff has published many technical papers about it. One of these papers you can find here: Infapro paper – 20 years of forest rehabilitation.

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