Home to the world-famous Leuser Ecosystem and the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, which has one of the densest populations of orang-utans anywhere in the world, Southern Aceh is teeming with biodiversity. Earthworm Foundation and coalition partners including members who source from the region, as well as NGOs, communities and civil society, have begun work to reduce deforestation through landscape-level transformation and help protect Southern Aceh for generations to come.
High Carbon Stock / High Conservation Values identified for protection
We have identified all HCS/HCV land that sits within concessions, and prioritised them for engagement.
Building support at local government level
Senior Earthworm Foundation team members held four formal meetings with the newly-elected mayor (‘walikota’ ) of Kota Subulussalam district and relevant district agency heads to build awareness and support for the APT approach.
Supporting priority villages
Using extensive desktop spatial analyses and field surveys, we identified villages at high risk of smallholder-driven deforestation. We then held meetings with local CSOs and government officials for their critical input on community-engagement work with the villages.
Capacity-building workshops for mills and plantations
Under a new partnership with the Subulussalam district government, Earthworm Foundation is holding a series of sustainability, labour and social workshops to build the capacity and motivation of local oil palm mills and plantations to adopt improved policies and practices.
An introductory Tools 4 Transformation (T4T) & Sustainability workshop was held in September 2019 for all mills and plantations in the district, its purpose to socialise the No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation (NDPE) concept and why sustainability, including good social and labour practices, are important and valuable for business. It also introduced participants to the T4T platform, a powerful online self-assessment tool that can help companies better understand and track their respective situations when it comes to achieving better environmental, social and labour practices. Ten plantations and four mills attended the first of several workshops.
Identifying “at-risk” priority villages for targeted capacity-building work
We have used extensive desktop spatial analyses and field surveys to identify villages at high risk of smallholder-driven deforestation. We have also conducted in-depth stakeholder consultations with government, civil society and financial institutions to gain critical input on the location and design of community engagement and capacity-building work. Through this process, we have identified a well-resourced funder who, via an implementation partner, has conducted considerable past work in the villages that our intelligence systems and activities identified as at highest risk of future deforestation. The exact nature and impact of this institution’s work is being critically evaluated to identify gaps and assess strategic opportunities to leverage their past investments and achieve deeper impact.
We have secured government support for environmental, social and labour-focused activities for companies in the Southern Aceh landscape.
We have held successful meetings with members of the financial community who fund community-level work in the region, to understand which projects could be aligned with funding.