Darma Pinem monitors a fruit tree planting site.
Our newest project partner in Sumatra is Nature for Change. Based near Bukit Lawang, on the edge of Leuser National park, Nature for Change works with communities living in and around the park's buffer zone. The land that makes up the buffer zone is often used for small rubber and oil palm plantations, and farmers who plant a few fruit trees in addition to their main crop often find they lose the majority of the fruit to orangutans and other wild animals. One of Nature for Change's initiatives is to encourage more of a polyculture system - by planting a greater number and diversity of fruiting trees, farmers will lose a smaller proportion to wildlife and will no longer feel the need to protect their crops by injuring or killing animals who enter their plantations. In this way, cultivated land can also become more of a 'green corridor' for animals, as they will no longer be in danger if they leave the national park and enter the buffer zone around it.
The wildlife of Leuser National Park is also threatened by wildlife trafficking, hunting and illegal logging. With such a large area to patrol, government resources are overstretched and it is difficult to protect the entire park area. Nature for Change will also provide training and support for community patrols to become a ‘living fence’, shoring up the borders of the park with regular monitoring and reporting to help clamp down on illegal activities. Along with their education programmes for children and adults, a community library, and training in permaculture and the marketing of non-timber forest products such as honey, the organisation’s holistic approach is helping to build a sustainable future for Leuser, its wildlife, and its people.
Nature for Change co-founder, Darma Pinem, says, “The involvement of non-governmental institutions and the community will certainly build strength and shared awareness of the importance of GLNP conservation. The community will learn a lot of new things that can support their lives and the continuation of their next generation.”
Thank you for helping us to support projects like this and keep Sumatra's forests standing.
Preparing seedlings. Photo courtesy of Darma Pinem
Fruit tree nursery. Photo courtesy of Darma Pinem