The Batang Toru Ecosystem gained international recognition in 2017 when the orangutan population in that area was described as a separate species. With less than 800 individuals remaining, the Tapanuli Orangutan is the most globally threatened great ape, and listed as Critically Endangered. With support of the ARCUS Foundation, PRCF´s programs are conducted together with three local partner organizations: (Orangutan Information Centre, Sumatran Rainforest Institute, and Healthy Planet Indonesia). Through community based measures we seek to stabilize the forest and the population of this Critically Endangered ape alongside two Endangered gibbon species – Siamang and Agile Gibbon.
The program engages 12 priority villages with interventions involving, promotion of sustainable agriculture through agroforestry and permaculture, community forestry, facilitation of market access for biodiversity-friendly produce such as coffee, gibbon distribution surveys, establishing village self-help groups run by women, and community conservation agreements linked to an incentive program.
The Hadabuan Hills Landscape is largely unknown despite it being an oasis of rich biodiversity surrounded by oil palm plantations. It stretches across 125,000 ha of hill and mountain forest of which at least 75,000 ha is still in a very good condition. The forests are home to a plethora of species of global conservation concern, including the Sumatran Tiger and Helmeted Hornbill.
Together with our local partner – Yayasan Alam Liar Sumatera – we are securing the landscape and its rich biodiversity through a network of village forests that would transfer the management rights to local communities, alleviating the current tragedy of the commons and lack of management that has resulted in rampant illegal logging, mining, poaching, and forest conversion to oil palm plantations.
In 2022 PRCF started with the facilitation of securing the management rights for 4,000 ha of forest for one village under Indonesia’s Social Forestry Scheme with subsequent efforts to build the capacity of the target village for sustainable livelihoods and conservation management, getting the village ready to receive long-term results-based finance for conservation outcomes. Through a partnership with Livelihoods Venture, a scale up to around 15 villages is expected within the next 3 years, whereby we would secure over 30,000 ha of high conservation value forest through long-term conservation management by local communities.
The forests are home to a plethora of species, including this Rhinoceros Hornbill.
Image Credit: Scott Nishiki
Palm Oil monocultures continue to chip away at the surrounding landscapes in North Sumatra,
Image Credit: Scott Nishiki