Since June 2018 Earthworm Foundation and coalition, partners including members who source from the region, as well as NGOs, communities and civil society, have been formally working with the government of Aceh Tamiang, Northern Sumatra. The goal is to bring landscape-level transformation by creating and implementing land use plans that work for everyone, successfully balancing development needs with conservation priorities.
Forest cover in Aceh Tamiang has declined by almost a quarter since 1990, whilst land conversion for agriculture such as palm oil has increased by 50. We began diagnostic work in Aceh Tamiang in 2017, creating base maps using the Starling satellite monitoring system, observing forest cover change and working to understand the drivers of deforestation. The coalition signed a formal agreement with Aceh Tamiang’s Bupati the following year.
Working with government on integrated spatial planning and sustainable development
The APT programme helps to build the capacity of the local government to conduct spatial planning and district development processes that are inclusive and driven by data. We do this through data and technical expertise and by bringing together voices from NGOs, civil society and local communities to ensure balanced representation and input.
Key activities goes here
High Carbon Stock/High Conservation Value study in PT. Semadam
We help orient and guide upcoming field activities. This after a desktop study was completed to support the HCV/HCS assessment in PT. Semadam, the company with the largest amount of forest in Aceh Tamiang's palm oil concessions.
We work with nearby border villages to identify social issues connected to remaining forest areas and to secure free, prior, and informed consent for upcoming Participatory Conservation Planning and HCV/HCS assessment activities.
Engaging "high risk" villages
The APT rural support team leads the development of our supplementary livelihood pilot programme. This is designed to help villagers build sustainable sources of income. The team is working with several high risk forest-frontier villages to create agriculture sites from land preparation through planting, cultivation and harvest, thereby providing continuous training opportunities for villagers over the full cycle of livelihood-enhancing planting regimes.
Task Force for Acceleration of Green Development
Earthworm Foundation was invited by the Bupati to join this task force,
which is tasked with guiding spatial planning and sustainable growth efforts. The Task Force will soon issue its implementation action plan to the Bupati
High Carbon Stock/High Conservation Value study in PT. Semadan
A desktop study was completed to support the HCV/HCS assessment in PT. Semadam to help orient and guide upcoming field activities. Necessary preliminary engagements with the nearby border villages were also initiated, both to identify social issues connected to remaining forest areas and to secure free, prior, and informed consent for upcoming Participatory Conservation Planning and HCV/HCS assessment activities
The APT rural support team, which is leading the development of our supplementary livelihood pilot programme, oversaw the transition of 3 agricultural demonstration pilot sites from Planting Phase into early Production Phase, providing continuous training opportunities for 3 “high risk” forest-frontier villages.
Starling satellite monitoring of Aceh Tamiang in Q2 2018 reveals a 95% drop in deforestation when compared with 2017, and a 96% drop in 2016.
Although persistent cloud cover posed limitations in satellite monitoring in Q2, monitoring data and field verifications confirm an encouraging multi-quarter trend of declining deforestation. We attribute this decline to a range of factors. Recognising that increasing scarcity of accessible forested land to clear and unfavourable commodity prices are undoubtedly influencing deforestation rates, our ongoing, close collaborations with local government and plantation companies indicates that increased awareness and commitments on their parts stemming directly from APT programme activities are playing a significant role in driving behaviour change. We view these significantly declining deforestation rates as a very positive development, while working with our local partners and strategic allies to keep a watchful eye towards known risks on the horizon.
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