Imagine a project that protects an apex predator, improves people’s lives and promotes planetary health. It may sound like the stuff of fantasy, but this is no fairy tale. It is precisely what Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and our in-country partners have achieved in the Indonesian province of Jambi, deep in the heart of Sumatra.
According to some estimates, as few as 400 Sumatran tigers may remain in the wild today. Kerinci Seblat National Park – not just the jewel in Jambi’s crown, but also the island’s largest protected area – harbours the lion’s share, so to speak, of that dwindling population. FFI has spent the past two decades working collaboratively to ensure the survival of this critically endangered big cat and its forest habitat, and met with tremendous success, due in no small part to the sterling work of the formidable Tiger Protection & Conservation Units.
There is more to tiger conservation than a crack team of rangers, however. Beyond the park boundaries, another tale has been unfolding. It is a multifaceted story about community activism, land tenure, indigenous rights, gender equality, carbon sequestration, certification schemes, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, seedling propagation, coffee cultivation and honey harvesting, featuring a cast of characters far too numerous to namecheck here.