Kerinci’s natural beauty and biodiversity encourage all parties to work together to preserve it.
Sumatran Tiger project closed 2017 with significant achievements. Project dynamics are evolving and it is deemed important for the project to monitor project activities to anticipate potential problems at field. Monitoring and evaluation efforts of Sumatran Tiger Project attended by relevant parties, were conducted from April 9-13, 2018. Kerinci Seblat became first landscape selected for monitoring activity.
Institutional strengthening of park managers in protection area; monitoring forest cover changes and Sumatran tiger population; learning about village forest development initiatives as carbon stock, became the focuses of this activity.
On the first day, Jakarta team landed at Muara Bungo Airport, Jambi Province. The journey continued overland for five hours to Bangko District, headquarters of Fauna and Flora International (FFI) Sumatran Tiger’s project partners.
Representatives from the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation, Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation, Directorate of Conservation Areas, Directorate of Management and Information on Nature Conservation and Ecosystem, Directorate of Law Enforcement, Ministry of Finance, Bappenas, UNDP Indonesia, Global Environment Facility Focal Point, academics from the Bogor Agricultural Institute, Kerinci Seblat National Park Center and Sumatran Tiger Project participated in the event.
The first day meeting at FFI headquarters opened by presentation from Donny Gunaryadi, Head of Biodiversity, Fauna and Flora International – Indonesia Program which outlined Sumatran Tiger – FFI partnership in law enforcement and forest patrol based on SMART data system in Kerinci Seblat National Park involving relevant stakeholders: Police, BKSDA, national parks and prosecutors.
Forest patrolling system and law enforcement have enabled FFI team to identify and detect threats to Sumatran tigers’ population and their ecosystems. The threats are snares, poaching, encroachment and forest cover changes.
Donny also reported 12% increase in METT scores (Management Effectiveness Tracking Tools) in Kerinci Seblat National Park. METT scores are used to measure the quality of improvements in national park management around the world.
FFI team has also installed camera trap in the core areas of Kerinci Seblat National Park which become habitat for Sumatran tigers to monitor Sumatran tigers’ population. The discussion ended in the afternoon and all team members stayed overnight at Bangko.
Second day visit
Early in the morning, monitoring team left for Durian Rambun Village which is in border area of Kerinci Seblat National Park. In this village, FFI team helped with village forest management.
We were using four wheels drive vehicles to travel to Durian Rambun due to remote village location. Dirt roads with extreme contours and slopes becoming part of our adventure. Our eyes were spoiled by the natural beauty of Kerinci which is like a piece of heaven on earth.
The team met with village forest management agency (LPHD) Rio Kemunyang, which was deemed to have successfully suppressed deforestation, forest encroachment and poaching.
According to Abton, a youth leader in Durian Rambun Village who is former head of LPHD Rio Kemunyang, community’s awareness is high on the importance of safeguarding forests, after they learnt from the experience of other villages around Durian Rambun. According to Abton, maintaining village forest has provided sense of security to the community, free from encroachment threats.
The second benefit, by protecting the forest, the villagers managed to avoid drought. “The village forest protects 9 springs that are beneficial to Durian Rambun residents in the dry season, when other villages experiencing drought,” Abton said.
The third benefit, by maintaining the village forest, water supply for Micro Hydro Power Plant could be maintained so people of Durian Rambun Village could enjoy clean electricity from nature. “This worth more than money,” Abton said. Children in the village could also study at night using electricity from PLTMH and village becomes more secure.
FFI has been assisting LPHD for more than three years. Villagers received incentives to safeguard their forests and livelihoods from implementing carbon stock schemes in form of annual fee to support forest patrolling, improve people’s economy by planting coffee and empowering youth and women.
The success of Durian Rambun village forest initiative is reflected by the enormous confidence of its citizens who are determined to preserve the forests that becomes their heritage from their ancestors. “Forest is our heritage that should be managed sustainably. With the village forest, people feel safe and comfortable because there are no threats, encroachments, “said Rosidi, former village head of Durian Rambun.
Rosidi added, Durian Rambun village forest has becoming like a fence for Muara Siau District. “If the forest in Durian Rambun village is destroyed, the forest in the other Muara Siau sub-district will also be encroached,” he said.
Before leaving, the team had a chance to visit the coffee production site. The journey to the location that we did on foot, down to the valley, crossing the river, through the suspension bridge has becoming an unforgettable experience for us. We spent the whole day for the visit. Sun has set when the cars drove us back to Bangko.
Third day visit
The morning sun shone brightly when our cars moving from Bangko to Tamiai Village, Batang Merangin Sub-District, Jambi Province. In this village, people started Community Forest (HKM) Tamiai. According to Heri Cipta, Head of Batang Merangin Sub-District, Tamiai Village has rich natural resources such as cinnamon and coffee. “But outsiders are threatening the village by stealing resources from local communities,” he said. According to Heri, outsiders have also committed deforestation in protected areas, causing new social conflicts. Thus, “We should be selective in assisting people,” he said. Community forestry becoming the right solution where people were given rights to manage the forest within a certain period of time (up to 35 years).
Neneng Susanti, Head of Production Forest Management (KPHP) of Kerinci, said that Tamiai Village is in the buffer zone of TNKS. Neneng said KPHP Kerinci is also working to develop green coffee by combining coffee cultivation and agroforestry practices. “We provide quality seeds for community,” he said.
Status of Tamiai Forest according to Neneng is production forest, so people can not only produce honey, coffee and cinnamon, but also start ecotourism businesses from migratory birds and hornbills and tree seedling nurseries.
Abdul Hadison or Didi, Senior Field Manager, Fauna and Flora International stated, the proposed HKM area reached 800 hectares. Currently Tamiai Village community is still waiting for a decision letter before they can implement community forest schemes. With FFI guidance the process is expected to run smoothly.
After completing Merangin District visit, we continued our journey to Sungai Penuh to stay overnight. Watching the beauty of Lake Kerinci on the road to Sungai Penuh, we feel grateful for the abundance of water for people of Kerinci. The team also visited Bukit Tapan, witnessing the opening of the road crossing the core area of Kerinci Seblat National Park.
Fourth day visit
On the last day of our visit in Kerinci landscape, the monitoring team held discussion with Kerinci Seblat National Park Office, attended by Ir. M. Arief Toengkagie, Head of BB TNKS. Arief provided latest information, discussing threats and achievements in Kerinci Seblat National Park.
The event continued by observing forest cover monitoring process by FFI team at Kerinci Mountain. FFI team used drone to facilitate airborne observation. We gathered at the famous, Pintu Rimba, that becomes climbing entrance to the highest active volcano in Indonesia.
Historical forest loss analysis in Kerinci Seblat National Park by FFI shows significant increase in forest degradation between 2014 – 2016. The rate of forest loss in TNKS between 2001 and 2016 is 0.15% per year with natural or artificial reforestation. While forest degradation in the core area is only 0.008% or only 8.2 Ha. Forest degradation happened in Merangin, Kerinci and South Solok districts.
The total forest lost area between 2001 and 2016 minus reforestation area is 136.17 Ha. While the actual forest degradation area reached 131.22 Ha or equal to 0.136% of the core area.
FFI team used drone to verify calculation of historical deforestation. The verifications were carried out on several forest boundaries in TNKS area. FFI conducted first drone monitoring in December 2017 and monitored annually until the end of project period.
Our busy schedules visiting Kerinci landscape ended with trip to Kerinci Mountain. Thousands of memories – and of course beautiful photographs – will always adorn our experiences visiting Bumi Sekepal Tanah Surga, literally means a piece of heaven on earth.
Witnessing the fog downs at Khayangan Hill while watching the sunrise, enjoying the delicious dendeng batokok, watching hornbills flying low over us, will become part of our best experiences witnessing the beauty of Kerinci’s nature.
Conserving biodiversity in this landscape has become mutual responsibility, not only for national agencies but also international agencies. One of them is the Sumatran Tiger Project which seeks to preserve the only remaining tigers in Indonesia, including those in Kerinci Seblat National Park. We surely return to Kerinci Seblat.