Preventing Wildlife Conflicts, Saving Lifes

The Colt’s engine growling across the dirt road, partly still muddy, from the rain last night. The car whose two rear tires were wrapped around by chains moving slowly but steadily passing sloppy terrains.

Representatives from local government, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Police, TNI, Sumatran Tiger Project, philanthropic organization and non-governmental organizations sit – some of them standing – on the truck. “The more passengers, the truck becoming more stable on the road,” said the driver who guided our group.

This group has just finished attending village level Wildlife Conflict Task Force Meeting in Margomulyo Village, Semaka District, Tanggamus District, Lampung Province, organized by Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program (WCS-IP) supported by Sumatran Tiger Project , GEF, UNDP, KFW, German Cooperation and USAID.

WCS-IP in collaboration with Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Office and Lampung Provincial Forest Service, gathered representatives of human and wildlife conflict mitigation task forces from various villages in Lampung, Bengkulu and Aceh.

Participants in this workshop shared knowledge and experiences in conflict mitigation and promote community-based human and wildlife conflict management approaches at site (village) level. The initiative also strengthened community’s resilient in regional and national platforms.

Indra Exploitasia, Director of Biodiversity Conservation, in her written address stated, “The shrinking living space and home range of large animals such as Sumatran elephant and Sumatran tiger ultimately forced the two species entering village areas and ultimately destroyed community’s farming and preyed on residents’ livestock. ”

According to Indra, strong institutional supports and effective role-sharing between parties are needed to overcome human and wildlife conflicts.

Technical implementation unit in the field responded positively to Indra’s remark. Siti Muksidah, Head of National Park Management Region I at Bukit Barisan Selatan NP stated, “We, at the national park, also placed the handling of human and animal conflicts (KMS) as one of our main priorities,” she said.

According to Siti, collaborating with communities, BB BBSNP has successfully handled 225 human and wildlife cases between 2008 and June 2019. One type of cooperation with community was to form a task force at the village level through Independent Village Community (MDM) program, accompanied by WCS- IP and supported by Sumatran Tiger Project.

Noviar Andayani, WCS-IP Director stated, “By strengthening KMS mitigation at site level, villagers could actively preventing escalation of human and animal conflict at site level by providing an appropriate initial responses.” Until mid-2019, WCS-IP and other parties has been facilitating 22 Independent Village Community units, including establishing task forces for conflict at site level.

The Deputy Governor of Lampung, Chusnunia Chalim, appreciated the workshop which took place on November 24-25. “Government realizes that human and wildlife conflict harming not only to citizens but also adversely affecting number and distribution of tiger and elephant populations which are charismatic animals of Sumatra,” he said.

As living creatures, wildlife and humans have the right to live. Thus we must be able to live side by side with other living creatures by preventing conflict and maintaining ecosystem balance.

“Without animals, the balance of ecosystem could not be materialized. Animals have function controlling pests and pollinating plants such as coffee that is community’s commodity,” Noviar Andayani said. Humans will not be able to do the task themself.

In this workshop, representatives of 16 Villages in Lampung, Bengkulu and Aceh Provinces also signed Margomulyo Declaration. They agreed to form a network of village-level human and wildlife conflict task forces throughout Sumatra.

This network will serve as communication and learning forum in overcoming conflict to help community’s welfare and wildlife conservation in Sumatra. Hopefully this good intention can continue to be implemented with the support of all parties.


Coordination to Handle Human and Wildlife Conflict

Sumatran Tiger Project, supported coordination meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, to handle human wildlife conflict at BKSDA (Center for Natural Resources Conservation) office, North Sumatra. This coordination meeting is also an effort to respond to current trend of increasing human and wildlife conflicts in the area.

In a meeting chaired by Head of North Sumatra’s BBKSDA, Regent of Padang Lawas, Ali Sutan and people of Padang Lawas Regency, offered supports to overcome human and wildlife conflicts. Communities in Padang Lawas realized Sumatran Tiger is protected animals and needed government support to save these endangered species.

Responding to human and tiger conflict, Padang Lawas District Government has extended Social Emergency Decree until 27 June 2019, which was a follow-up to the parties’ meeting on 14 June 2019 in Sibuhuan.

In this meeting, Governor of North Sumatra gave instruction to not to shoot / kill Sumatran Tiger in Padang Lawas. The meeting also discussed development of Desa Mandiri Konflik or Conflict Resilient Village and alternative economy for people in conflict-affected areas. This year there is no expansion for plantation in North Sumatra Province. Community economic empowerment will involve plantation companies through CSR mechanisms or corporate social responsibility.

The parties participating in this meeting also agreed to immediately revise the North Sumatra Governor’s Decree regarding the Coordination Team and the Task Force on Controlling of Wild Animal Conflict in North Sumatra Province. This revision must include National Disaster Management Agency and financing using available CSR and Local Government Funds.

Short-term solution to human and wildlife conflict, stakeholders agreed to carry out several activities:

1. Building tiger proof enclosures in conflict-prone areas.

2. Developing Conflict Resilient Villages: forming task force teams, Community training, initiate village funds for conflict mitigation team. WCS is willing to help initiate and provide training in developing Conflict Resilient Village in conflict-prone areas, with assistants from North Sumatra Regency and BBKSDA.

3. Encouraging companies to implement their responsibility stated in their RKL (Environmental Management Plan) and RPL (Environmental Monitoring Plan).

4. Strengthening local wisdom that supports conservation of wildlife habitat in Padang Lawas, for example by providing prey for tigers and using barbed wire fences.

In long term, funding from Sumatran Tiger Project (GEF-UNDP) and other non-binding sources will be used to support Governor’s Decree revision regarding conflict prevention team.

Coordination meeting which was also attended by Director of KKH, Indra Exploitasia also agreed to establish the Padang Lawas Tiger Conflict Task Force Team, under Padang Lawas Regent’s Decree. Padang Lawas Regent and BPBD (Regional Disaster Management Agency) will act as board of trustee and Head of the North Sumatra KSDA Office will become daily chief executive.



Human Tiger Conflict Highest in 2010

Human and tiger conflicts continued to increase from 2001 and peaked in 2010. In that year there were 162 conflicts occurring predominantly from cases of tigers attacking cattle and tigers roaming around villages or residential areas.

After 2010, number of human and tiger conflicts continues to decline until 2016. The decline in the number of human and tiger conflicts is likely triggered by an increasing number of tigers being killed and displaced.

In the period 2001-2016, the number of tigers killed and displaced continued to increase. 130 tigers who died due to human and tiger conflicts. Only 5 tigers were transferred to other conservation sites after the conflict. A total of 43 tigers were sent to the zoo.

The number of tigers that ran after the conflict reached 879 tigers. of that number, as many as 8 tigers ran in the wounded condition. The number of dead and displaced tigers could have a negative impact on the tiger population.