Since April 2010 FFI has supported the establishment of well over 40 legally recognised Village and Customary Forests in Kerinci Seblat buffer area, as part of an integrated programme framed around low-carbon development. This model – whereby forest-edge communities are incentivised to protect and sustainably manage high-conservation value forests with the support of local government – has successfully safeguarded over 70,000 hectares of forest, which represents important additional habitat for Sumatran tigers beyond the national park boundary.

FFI has encouraged and supported the establishment of community enterprises based around the sustainable use of non-timber forest products including kepayang oil and small-scale coffee, and has improved access to broader markets for these products by connecting communities with buyers in the supply chain. As part of our efforts to help rehabilitate degraded community village forest, we supported the establishment of 18 tree nurseries, which have produced more than half a million seedlings including tree crops and non-timber forest product plants.

In 2014, Durian Rambun became the first village forest in Indonesia to benefit from incentive funds (under the Plan Vivo certification scheme) as reward for its independently verified forest stewardship. This village forest covers almost 4,500 hectares of lowland tropical forest, providing a vital habitat for endangered species including the Sumatran tiger. The area harbours 83 recorded species of mammal, 91 reptile and amphibian species and 221 bird species. As part of Batang Hari watershed, this forest plays a critical role in providing local and regional water supplies.

We are grateful for financial support from the Disney Conservation Fund and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.