The Leuser Ecosystem in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, is the last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, elephants, rhinos and tigers roam together. It is also home to a wealth of other biodiversity, and supports the lives and livelihoods of over 4 million people. However, poaching, hunting, illegal logging and other pressures are threatening this incredible forest and its inhabitants. We support frontline patrol teams to tackle wildlife and forest crime, vital for the protection of Leuser.
The Gunung Leuser National Park is under increasing threat, due to the expansion of farmlands, illegal logging and infrastructure such as roads. Development on the border of the national park is leading to encroachment into the protected forests, and we are seeing an escalation of hunting, poaching and illegal forest clearance. Despite its efforts, the National Park authority lacks the resources to patrol the whole area, so it is vital for local NGOs to support law enforcement.
Our partners in Sumatra are deploying community-based forest patrol teams to tackle wildlife and forest crime. So far, the teams have removed 156 snares from the forest, and 16 people have been prosecuted. This is a great result, but we need to scale up our efforts to cover more ground so that more forest and wildlife can be kept safe.
The patrols collect evidence of illegal activities, leading to prosecutions, which in turn act as a deterrent against future poaching and forest destruction. Involving local communities helps us to grow support for conservation, while training the next generation of rangers. This work complements our sustainable development projects, providing alternative livelihoods to villages adjacent to the park. This holistic approach is supporting government and communities to protect forests and wildlife.