Webinar Nature Based Wetlands Solutions in Indonesia and Nepal

Tune in for this webinar, organised by WUR Student Challenges & Green Office Wageningen on the road to the registration deadline of the Nature-based Solutions Challenge, and be inspired by the experiences and projects from Eka & Jitse!

Organised by Wageningen University & Research

Thu 7 April 2022 14:00 to 15:00


Wetlands are under threat. The area of wetlands has declined enormously over the past decades. Thereby, the ecosystem services that wetlands deliver, and the biodiversity associated with wetlands are also under threat. In this webinar, we will dive into two wetlands: the peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan and the wetlands at the foot of the Himalayas.

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Eka Cahyaningrum is the co-founder of HIRAI, an NGO that aims to restore degraded peatland. She will share her experiences on nature-based solutions for peatland restoration in Indonesia, with a focus on biodiversity. Jitse Bijlmakers is a physical geographer and a real water enthusiast. He will provide insights into the complex interactions between the Karnali river, the grassland, the wetlands, and wildlife, including the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Eka Cahyaningrum

Eka holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with experience in primate behavior, biodiversity survey, mangrove, seagrass, and peat restoration. She is also a co-founder of HIRAI (Himba Raya Indonesia), an NGO based in Central Borneo that aims to restore degraded peatland and build a sustainable livelihood for the adjacent community.


In 2022,Eka was selected as a peatland restoration steward by the Global Landscape Forum to restore 60 ha of degraded peatland in Central Borneo. Her experience with community-based conservation projects made her realize that people are a crucial part of building a successful and sustainable conservation project, as it is the local communities who will face the direct impact of a damaged environment. ForEka, conservation is not only a job, it is deeply personal and she exerts her entire capacity to be fully immersed in the aims and goals of the project.

Tropical peat swamp forest is a unique ecosystem that is under enormous threat by human activities, such as logging, conversion for agriculture, drainage, fire, and wildlife hunting. Peat-swamp forests in the tropics represent a high biodiversity with thousands of species and are rich in endemic and endangered flora and fauna. Triggered by the urgency of the decelerating climate for humanity, HIRAI collaborates with stakeholders in Jumpun Pambelom and Tane Pambelom area (Tane Ranu Dayak Institution) to fight for the environmental issues of peat swamp forests in Central Kalimantan.

Jitse Bijlmakers

Water can be followed like a trail in and next toJitse’s studies. He spends his hours as a physical geographer on water management issues and is engaged in making students enthusiastic about the role of water in nature. His fascination lies on the interface of abiotics and biotics, as it is crucial to understand the relation between these two to understand how ecosystems are affected by the present-day challenges.

At the foot of the Himalayas, the Indian and Nepalese wetlands and grasslands are crucial for wildlife conservation but are vulnerable for encroachment by wooden plants. These grasslands provide food for deer, which in turn sustain populations of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger. In the past, Bardia National Park, one of the conservation areas, experienced activities of humans and a change of the nearby Karnali River. During the webinar, Jitse will discuss what this means for the wetlands and grasslands in the park.


Youth Network Partners

Involving and preparing the next generation is a core task of WUR throughout its history. In the past years WUR has organized several youth engagement activities to incorporate the voice of a diverse international group of young aspirational young people. WUR is pleased to partner with the below Youth Networks in this challenge.