Its inception was on the 22nd April 2015,in conjunction of Earth Day. Before this, I had been involved in few programs to conserve and protect forest and animals in the areas of Gunung Leuser National Park.
I have seen the challenges and the issues. I have participated in bringing solutions. But I feel that there are many loopholes and concerns that would never be met with. I thought about the problems for quite sometime.
I met Darma when I first came to Bukit Lawang. I was attracted to his philosophy of life in village and about nature. I knew that he is the connection that I need for the solutions to some of the problems. But where do I start?
After 2 years in the friendship, the collaboration to a greater height seems more achievable. By this time, together we could see the problems more clearly and steps to tackle it were identifiable.
We believe that the best solution is a partnership and collaborating with farmland owners. They are the ones that own lands bordering the forest. The conflict between the forest and man is because of the intrusion of the forest into the farmland. It got worse during fruiting season. Animal and people conflict will jeopardize the sustainability of the forest in long run. We need to make the farmlands our partner.
We decided that planting of native fruit trees will benefit both parties.The fruit trees were free and didnt cost them anything. They will benefit from the fruits too. All the need to do is let us plant the trees and in return they will help to look after the trees till it matured.
This will also ensure that the animals are safe to explore across the buffer zone and indirectly extend the forest’s boundary.
We are happy that the people are taking active role in the project. With youths are our main participants, we are confident that there is hope in the protection and conservation of the forest and its species.