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Indonesia is unquestionably one of the world’s top biodiversity rich countries and thus a priority for global conservation. The Indonesian archipelago’s 17,000 islands are home to roughly 12% of the world’s mammals, 16% of the world’s reptiles and amphibians, 17% of the world’s birds and 25% of global fish populations. Yet this biodiversity faces a myriad of threats including logging and palm oil plantation expansion.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) established a formal country programme in Indonesia in 1996 with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Forestry. We have since built up an extensive network of partners ranging from forest-edge communities and civil society organisations to government and private business.
People are at the centre of our conservation initiatives. We are at the forefront of efforts to help communities map their customary forests and gain official recognition of their right to manage these areas.
FFI’s innovative approach has catalysed change through a number of flagship programmes in Indonesia, including the community ranger initiative which has transformed former combatants, wildlife poachers and loggers into champions of the environment.
We are also pioneering sustainable financing mechanisms through reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) initiatives in Aceh and Kalimantan. Our work on surveying what is called ‘High Conservation Value Forest’ has also been critical in protecting key orang-utan habitat from conversion to palm oil plantations or other destructive activities.
Since 2006, FFI has been exploring ways in which emerging Payments for Ecosystem Services mechanisms can be harnessed for the benefit of conservation and local communities. The core idea behind REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, plus enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries) is to make performance-based payments to forest communities who help reduce emissions by conserving their forest. To succeed, REDD+ requires a broad set of policies and institutional reforms that clearly define land tenure and carbon rights.
To help with this, FFI has secured a three million Euro EU-funded project on ‘Developing community carbon pools for REDD+ projects in selected ASEAN countries’. The project has been designed to build the capacity of local communities and local governments to actively participate in REDD+ pilot projects in Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia and to feed lessons learned into policy dialogues at sub-national, national and regional levels. The project also supports the design and implementation of pilot REDD+ projects, with the aim of establishing social and environmental safeguards and ensuring equitable benefit sharing.
This initiative aims to prevent destruction of the threatened and highly carbon-rich Ulu Masen forest in Aceh Province, Indonesia, by generating tradable carbon credits and directing a proportion of the profits to local communities. In February 2008, the project became the first REDD project to be approved by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
FFI is using our community and conservation expertise to advise the Governor of Aceh in both the design and implementation of the project on the ground.
FFI is implementing a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) pilot project on community peat swamp forests in West Kalimantan. This initiative mobilises support from local government agencies, palm oil and forestry companies, NGOs and local communities to identify and assess High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) at concessions and landscape level. FFI has been conducting landscape-based HCVF assessment since 2007 in Kapuas Hulu and Ketapang Districts, West Kalimantan. The results of these assessments are used to support revision of spatial planning. FFI is actively engaging in the revision of spatial planning and provides support to local government.
FFI also works with the private sector within critical landscapes of Ketapang and Kayong Utara Districts. These critical landscapes consist of orang-utan corridor habitat connecting Gunung Palung National Park with the southern and northern peat swamp forest. This corridor overlaps with parts of two palm oil concessions. In order to develop further financial incentives for conservation of HCVFs in these landscapes, FFI is now developing REDD+ demonstration activities in concessions and community forest.
The Angke-Kapuk and Muara Angke wetlands and mangrove in Jakarta once played an important role in flood mitigation and biodiversity conservation, but are now degraded by development and waste. FFI is working with local grass roots group Jakarta Green Monster to reduce pollution in the Muara Angke Wildlife Sanctuary. Together we have established a wetland and mangrove education centre and encourage community interest in the wetland through school visits and media campaigns. The project also aims to benefit people from local impoverished areas through training in how to use waste materials to make saleable products, such as compost, bags and pencil cases made from recycled materials, and business cards from recycled paper.
FFI has signed a landmark agreement with resource company BHP Billiton to provide a platform for sustainable land use planning in the Murung Raya District of Central Kalimantan. This two-year partnership is contributing to the preservation of potential orang-utan habitat for the release of orang-utans from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation rehabilitation centre in Nyaru Menteng. In addition, we are assessing the viability of reintroducing orang-utans into the area, raising community awareness, supporting land use planning processes and providing capacity training for local conservation leaders.
FFI is helping local governments and communities in and around Gunung Palung and Danau Sentarum National Parks to protect orang-utans and their habitat. We are training patrol units specialising in orang-utans that will also have an all-encompassing responsibility for habitat protection. We place a high priority on combating illegal logging and poaching, (which directly threaten orang-utans), through preventative action, policy engagement, and awareness-raising programmes. We also support efforts to improve integration of conservation objectives into land use planning.
In 2006 FFI helped to form the AKAR Network of nine local NGOs in four provinces around Kerinci Seblat National Park. This formed the framework for collaborative campaigns against threats to the protected area and its buffer-zone, such as illegal road construction. We provide technical advice, and support AKAR Network on campaigning, fundraising and other activities. Our partners have developed community forest protection patrols, successfully defeated plans for conversion of forest to pulp timber and palm plantations and the construction of roads through the park.
In April 2010 we embarked on a new programme in collaboration with a local partner in Merangin District, Lembaga Tiga Beradik, to facilitate the establishment of eight legally recognised ‘Village Forests’ . These Village Forests will provide vital protection for critical Sumatran tiger habitat in the buffer-zone of Kerinci Seblat National Park. The programme will also focus on enhancing direct community benefits from forests (including linking communities to markets for high-value non-timber forest products) and laying the foundations for an innovative community carbon pool in western Sumatra to offer forest-edge communities access to the carbon trade by pooling multiple community-managed forests.
FFI has a comprehensive programme to conserve Sumatran elephants and their habitat around Gunung Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra through Conservation Response Units (CRU). CRUs provide a strong link between in-situ and ex-situ elephant conservation by employing captive elephants and their mahouts to patrol and protect important elephant habitat. The programme creates opportunities for local communities to participate and benefit from conservation initiatives and helps to reduce the impact of human-elephant conflict. The CRU teams also raise awareness among local people of the importance of conserving elephants and their habitat and help improve community livelihoods.
Lombok is facing major challenges to its energy supply for household cooking and rural industries. The dominant fuel, kerosene, is no longer subsidised, which has led to unsustainable wood fuel use, causing deforestation and watershed destruction within and around Gunung Rinjani National Park, across the major agricultural watershed in Lombok, and in neighbouring islands. The substitute fuels that are currently available have generated different economic and environmental issues.
FFI is working on a project (funded by the NL Agency Global Sustainable Biomass Fund) which aims to promote the sustainability of certified candlenut and castor bean biomass chains. The project is a consortium of international businesses and local partners.
Nusa Kambangan is an 11,500 hectare limestone island just south of central Java. It has good forest cover in the south and has mangroves in the north. Due to the presence of several prisons on the island, the forest has remained relatively undisturbed compared to Java and it retains some rare and endemic flora and some charismatic fauna such as the milky stork, the lesser adjutant stork and a small number of Critically Endangered Javan leopard. As part of work done with the cement company Holcim Indonesia which has a quarry on the island, FFI discovered 40 species new to science and developed a management plan which is now being implemented by the company. FFI continues to give attention to the endemic plahlar dipterocarp tree with local partners.
There are around 500 Sumatran tigers in the wild and just under 200 of them are found in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park – a World Heritage Site. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) works with the park authorities and local communities to strengthen protection through forest patrols and undercover operations to combat illegal trafficking of tigers and tiger parts. These efforts have led to the successful prosecution of dozens of poachers. Our team also conducts human-wildlife conflict mitigation, responds to wildlife emergencies and works to secure key tiger habitat outside the park. There is growing evidence that tiger populations are stabilising in and around the park.
The Mentawai Islands are being rapidly degraded by unsustainable logging and conversion to agriculture. Hunting pressure remains high, resulting in a rapid decline of Kloss’s gibbons along with other endemic primates. While Siberut’s forests are partially protected by a National Park, the other islands (Sipora, North and South Pagai) aren’t offered such protection and are facing an even more rapid decline of habitat and species.
This new project will assess threats to habitat and Kloss’s gibbon populations, develop a Kloss’s Gibbon Conservation Action Plan, and facilitate the establishment of local multi-stakeholder conservation consituencies. Rather than FFI being solely responsible for the implementation, the project will build capacity of counterpart staff at the Siberut National Park, the Mentawai Nature Conservation Department and local NGO partners, as well as forest concession staff, to raise awareness for gibbon conservation, improve forest and protected area management and facilitate the development of local conservation consituencies for four selected priority sites. The project will also collaborate with the district government to develop a more environmentally sustainable spatial plan that ensures protection for gibbon conservation priority sites.
In 2010, FFI responded to 491 incidents of human-elephant conflict, which benefitted over 1000 households. For the farming communities living at the Ulu Masen border, elephant crop-raiding represents one of the greatest threats to their livelihood. To help prevent this, FFI has established three Conservation Response Units (CRUs) in the conflict hotspots. The CRUs use once captive elephants and their mahouts for direct field-based conservation interventions. This project aims to support the conservation of wild elephants and their habitat while creating employment for people.
A Sumatra-wide tiger survey in 2010, completed through a partnership between several international conservation NGOs (including FFI) and the Indonesian Department of Forestry, has produced the most up-to-date and reliable assessment of Sumatran tiger conservation status. The FFI sites of Kerinci Seblat National Park and Aceh were highlighted as being critically important for long-term tiger survival. The survey also identified the west Sumatran landscape that connects to Kerinci Seblat as being data deficient but as having high potential. In combination, this contiguous landscape forms one of the longest forest corridors in Sumatra. Building on previous successes we are assessing threat status in this corridor in order to develop and implement appropriate conservation intervention strategies to mitigate tiger threats.
The principal threats to tigers across their range are poaching (of both tigers and their prey), habitat loss in the form of agricultural expansion into forest areas, and habitat fragmentation caused by road construction. Focusing on the Ulu Masen tiger population, this project will strengthen the conservation capacity of the government law enforcement agencies to tackle poaching and illegal logging and develop their partnerships with local communities opposed to these threats. Tigers will be monitored inside the forest using camera trap equipment. At the forest-edge community rangers will support affected villages to build tiger-proof livestock pens to reduce retaliatory attacks. The project will support the Government of Aceh to incorporate tiger conservation concerns into its policy development through the production of a technical report that assesses the environmental impact of planned road construction on tiger forest habitat and the completion of a human-tiger conflict protocol.
Aceh’s marine ecosystems were heavily damaged by the 2004 tsunami. So too were the communities’ fishing fleets. This meant local communities lost their ability to earn income from both fishing and tourism. FFI is helping to rebuild livelihoods by empowering poor families to re-establish sustainable small tourism-related businesses while protecting coastal ecosystems.
Reconstruction after the devastating tsunami has led to an unprecedented demand for Aceh’s natural resources, especially timber. FFI created this programme to help government and civil society partners to safeguard the Ulu Masen and Leuser forests, which cover a combined three million hectares and provide vital ecosystem services.
We support a wide range of activities including building the capacity of government forest protection agencies to tackle illegal logging and creating community forest ranger teams out of ex-combatants, ex-illegal loggers and ex-wildlife poachers. We are also involved in an innovative Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) initiative.
The Murung Raya district occupies 2.3 million hectares in the geographic centre of Borneo, straddling the equator in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. Ecosystems in this district include significant areas of lowland mixed dipterocarp forest, a variety of heath forest, up to sub-mountainous and moss forests. Protecting natural treasures Besides a wealth of biodiversity and a variety of ecosystems, Murung Raya is also rich in natural resources, vast stands of commercial timber, and extensive coal and gold deposits. Forests…Read more